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A protester raises a "Freedom" sign board at a protest against government measures to curb COVID in Berlin, August 2021
A protester raises a 'Freedom' sign board at a protest against government measures to curb COVID-19 in Berlin, in August 2021Image: Christian Mang/REUTERS

German hospital sector chief slams 'reckless' unvaccinated

September 30, 2021

Seriously ill people are being denied limited ICU care due to unvaccinated COVID patients, Gerald Gass says. Meanwhile, Melbourne's infection rates have soared to a new daily high. Follow DW for the latest.


The head of the German Hospital Federation on Thursday made an urgent appeal to those in Germany still unvaccinated to get their shots.

Gerald Gass was quoted in RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland as saying only very few people had medical reasons for not getting vaccinated.

"Vaccination is an important act of solidarity to protect limited and valuable resources in our hospitals that are needed to treat seriously ill patients," he said.

Nearly 90% of COVID patients in intensive care units in hospitals in Germany were not vaccinated, Gass said.

He added that every person "has the right" to fall ill — but not at a cost to others.

"Every intensive care bed and every ventilation unit that is used by an unvaccinated patient is not available to another seriously ill person at this moment," he cautioned. 

If people chose to go on unvaccinated, Gass warned that employees would quit in frustration. 

Elsewhere in Germany, Social Democrat lawmaker and health expert Karl Lauterbach told the Funke Media group that it was vital parties didn't neglect COVID issues while negotiations to form a new coalition government were taking place.

More German vaccines for the world?

Here are the latest major developments on coronavirus from around the world:


The World Health Organization (WHO) said only two percent of the population or fewer have been fully vaccinated in half of the countries on the African continent.

Fifteen countries have managed to inoculate 10 percent of people. Richard Mihigo who is the WHO vaccine coordinator in Africa said: "The latest data shows modest gains, but there is still a long way to go to reach the WHO target of fully vaccinating 40 percent of the population by the end of the year."

The WHO set a global goal for countries to vaccinate at least 10 percent of people by September 30. Countries that have managed to meet or better the goal are those with smaller populations.

COVID-19 Special: Vaccine hesitancy in South Africa


Australia's Victoria state recorded a total of 1,483 new infections on Thursday, the majority in Melbourne, despite people being under a strict lockdown for nearly two months now. Five new deaths were recorded in the state. Victoria had previously recorded a daily high of 950 infections on Wednesday.

Officials blamed illegal home gatherings to watch a key sporting event, the Australian Rules Football Grand Final, for the spike in cases. However, despite the latest delta outbreaks, total cases in Australia stand at around 104,000 and deaths at 1,283, which is well below other comparable nations.


France will lift its mandatory mask requirement for students in French primary schools in areas with a low COVID-19 infection rate. Only schools in communities with fewer than 50 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 citizens for five consecutive days will be eligible to go mask-free.

Some 47 metropolitan departments, or administrative districts, where mandatory wearing of masks will be ended, health ministry data showed. Paris and nearby suburbs were not among them.

Employees across sectors in Croatia will either have to prove their vaccination status or show that they have fully recovered from the virus when they enter workspaces, the civil protection directorate in Zagreb said. The rules come into force on October 4. Croatia saw a sharp rise in infections last week, and only 42% of the population has been fully vaccinated.

Lithuania is making it compulsory for people to have their masks on from October 1 when they're indoors. The country's national cabinet changed a previous recommendation for wearing masks into a binding order as it registered a sharp rise in infections recent weeks. There were 656 new cases per 100,000 people in the last two weeks, according to official data. 68% of the population so far have either been vaccinated or recovered from infection.


Disney canceled Broadway showing of "Aladdin" in New York City on Wednesday evening, after producers said they had detected an unspecified number of "breakthrough" COVID infections among vaccinated members of the crew. A slew of Broadway's leading shows, such as "Hamilton" and "The Lion King," had opened mid-September, and "Aladdin" had just joined the fray before being forced to close.

Cuban capital Havana reopened its beaches and pools, as well as the famed Malecon seafront promenade, to the public on Wednesday after nine months. They will operate at 50% capacity and all COVID rules, including wearing masks, would have to be maintained, the Havana governor said. The Caribbean nation opened its bars and restaurants last week as well as cases steadily fell across the country.

rm/rt (Reuters, AP, DPA)


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