January 18, 2022

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Coronavirus Update: Europe struggles lowering infection numbers | DW News

A top medical association in Switzerland says intensive care units are at their limits as the country battles a second wave of COVID-19 infections. The Swiss Society for Intensive Care Medicine (SSMI) warned the 876 ICU beds it certifies across the country "are practically all full." More beds have since been added and the Swiss military has been called in for support in several cantons. The SSMI said it was essential to postpone non-urgent medical procedures to avoid overwhelming hospitals, and urged citizens to draft directives on whether they wish to receive prolonged life-support should they fall critically ill. Switzerland reported more than 6,000 new infections on Wednesday, bringing its total number of cases to nearly 280,000. It logged 84 new deaths for a total of 3,377 since the pandemic began.

Germany reported 17,561 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, bringing its total number of infections to 833,307. The Robert Koch Institute said the death toll in the country rose by 305 to 13,119. The latest infection figures are a slight drop from the same day last week, when Germany reported 18,487 cases. Daily case numbers have plateaued somewhat in recent days, albeit at a level far higher than the government deems acceptable in most of the country.

Total infections in France have topped 2 million, the fourth-highest total in the world. The country reported a further 437 deaths, bringing its overall tally to 46,723. Director General of Health Jerome Salomon warned that the situation remained serious with 33,500 people currently hospitalized, but said "collective efforts are starting to bear fruit" since France entered a nationwide lockdown that is set to run until December 1.

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