Coronavirus: Germany to use hotels and public halls as hospitals

Plan agreed to keep those with milder symptoms away from proper wards

Jane Dalton
Wednesday 18 March 2020 17:12 GMT
'Test test test': World Health Organisation calls testing 'backbone' of coronavirus response

Germany will use hotels and public halls as hospitals to treat coronavirus patients, the government has announced.

Health chiefs will relieve pressure on hospitals by converting spaces such as hotels, rehabilitation centres and halls into areas for treating people with milder symptoms, federal and states governments said.

The measures could “build up additional capacity for the numerous simpler treatments... freeing up hospitals to deal with the more serious cases,” officials said in a statement.

The country had 7,272 cases of the disease by Tuesday, and has had 12 deaths, according to Reuters.

The Berlin city government has agreed to build a new hospital for up to 1,000 coronavirus patients with the help of the military.

The newspaper Tagesspiegel said from Monday underground train services in Berlin would be reduced, with trains only running every 10 minutes.

The German government and federal states have already announced drastic new restrictions to public life, including the closure of all non-essential shops and a ban on religious gatherings.

Supermarkets, banks and pharmacies are among the shops allowed to stay open, while bars, clubs, swimming pools and cinemas have been told to close.

Germany has already closed its borders with France, Austria and Switzerland.

The country’s public health agency has said it will take about two years for the pandemic to run its course, depending on how fast a vaccine becomes available.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in