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The German government has learned nothing from its own 2013 pandemic assessment

Oped

The German government has learned nothing from its own 2013 pandemic assessment

Chris Kelly

The number of people infected with COVID-19 is still on the rise in Germany. Although the government has known for years, it ignored the findings of its own report published in 2013 which concluded that Germany’s health care system was not equipped for a pandemic. At the time, the report simulated the course and consequences of a pandemic for Germany on the basis of a SARS outbreak. Although Angela Merkel, Chancellor then and now, was well aware of the implications for the country, neither she nor the Ministry of Health felt the need to act accordingly.

An overview of the current COVID-19 figures in Germany

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) last reported 127,584 Corona cases and 3,254 deaths (as of 15.4.2020 at midnight). That is 2,486 more infected persons than on Monday and 285 new deaths. The RKI counts 72,600 recoveries. 70 percent of those infected are between 15 and 59 years old. Men (48%) and women (52%) are currently affected almost equally, whereas the average age of 86 percent of those who died was 70 years or older.

Total lack of preparedness in view of the crisis

In the early days, the outbreak of COVID-19 was completely underestimated, if not ignored, first in China and later also in Italy. Against better judgment, the German government had merely given its people recommendations for action by March 2020, instead of putting protective measures in place, whilst the relevant facts and figures had been available for seven years. No coordinated efforts were made to avoid COVID-19 from spreading, and medical equipment was only to be procured months into a now worldwide pandemic.

The actions of the German Government were irresponsible and negligent. The protection of and care for our senior citizens, our children, simply all the people in our country were deliberately neglected instead of placing it at the forefront of all political action in this crisis. In due time, the government must be held accountable and deal with the consequences accordingly

The initial delivery of our so-called political leaders was more than sad and it sounds like mockery when the CDU/CSU faction in the Bundestag claims that ‘Germany is well prepared’.

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