The absence of employees during the Corona summer wave is causing problems for hospitals. Another problem for the labor market is likely to arise in the long term.

Increasing numbers of corona and high levels of sick leave are affecting the operation of intensive care units in German clinics. “The high number of sick employees in particular is a problem for us in the health system – in addition, some are finally taking their well-deserved vacation to start the winter months with renewed energy,” said the President of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (Divi), Gernot Marx, the newspapers of the Funke media group (Saturday).

In more than half of the intensive care units (55 percent), operations are no longer as usual – the restrictions vary in severity. “Unfortunately, that is a very high number that we have otherwise only seen in the colder seasons and a higher Covid load,” said Marx. The care of the life-threateningly ill patients and emergency patients is secured everywhere. “But in the hospitals, numerous operations are being postponed again and staff have to be relocated.”

Almost 2000 fewer intensive care beds available

According to the latest Divi daily report, 1053 patients with Covid-19 are treated in intensive care, 19 fewer than the day before. According to Marx, there are currently about twice as many as at the same time last year and almost four times as many as in 2020. At the same time, there are almost 2,000 fewer intensive care beds available than last year, mainly due to a lack of staff.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has given the value of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants and week as well over 650 in the past few days. However, the incidence does not provide a complete picture of the infection situation. Experts have been assuming for some time that there will be a large number of cases that are not recorded by the RKI. Only positive PCR tests count in the statistics – and by far not all infected people let you do it. Transmission problems or late registrations can also lead to a distortion of individual daily values.

The German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) also sees the high number of corona infections as a major burden for the economy. “Corona-related staff shortages are a challenge for many companies – especially when there is already a shortage of skilled workers,” said DIHK President Peter Adrian to the editorial network Germany (RND / Saturday).

With a view to autumn, he said: “With isolation and quarantine rules, the consequences for the loss of employees and thus the ability to work in the economy must always be considered.” For the functioning of everyday life, “not only the health care system and the state infrastructure, but large areas of the economy” are critical.

problems for the labor market

According to Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach, the long-term health consequences of some corona infections are not only a problem for those affected, but also for the health system and society as a whole. “We don’t even have the capacity to deal with the many cases,” he said in an interview with “Zeit Online”. “There are not enough specialized doctors, not enough treatment places, we don’t have any medicines yet. Something is really coming our way here.” The problems associated with Long Covid are widely underestimated.

The SPD politician said: “This will also be relevant for the labor market, because unfortunately many will not return to their old performance.” He is also hoping for a vaccine that will also help against infection with the omicron variant. “Hopefully this not only protects against a severe course, but also against infection and thus also against Long Covid,” the minister continued. Every corona infection carries the risk of long covid, Lauterbach warned on Twitter on Saturday.