BERLIN – Ambitious government plans

As the number of COVID-19 cases reached 8,757 on Tuesday (17 March), the German government rolled out two new plans to respond to the spread of virus, including plans to bring Germans stuck in foreign countries home and measures to drastically increase the country’s medical capacity.

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The first plan, announced by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Tuesday morning (17 March), outlined measures for a government airlift costing €50 million to repatriate Germans stranded abroad due to travel restrictions. Germans currently in Morocco and Egypt will be the first to be repatriated back home.

On Tuesday evening (17 March), the federal government and states adopted an emergency plan for hospitals to expand capacity, which includes measures to repurpose hotels, rehabilitation facilities, and other large halls into emergency hospitals. Officials also aim to nearly double the number of intensive care beds in the country from its current level of 28,000. (Sarah Lawton |

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