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Germany Extends a Helping Hand to Italy, Takes in COVID-19 Patients: 'We Stand by Our Italian Friends'

Germany has extended a helping hand to Italy by promising to take in 47 of their COVID-19 patients.
“Because we stand by our Italian friends. We can only manage this together,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement Thursday, according to Reuters.
Germany has already made good on its generous offer, as six Italian patients were flown into the Leipzig airport in the German state of Saxony on Tuesday.
Ten more patients were set to be sent to the west side of Germany over the next few days.
Italy certainly needs all the help it can get. 
According to Johns Hopkins, there were more than 86,000 confirmed cases of COIVID-19 in Italy as of Friday. The country currently has the highest death toll in the world from the coronavirus, with over 9,000 casualties.
Italy is under a complete lockdown, and according to The Hill, residents cannot leave their homes unless they have written government approval to do so.
Together against : Confirmation for 47 patients in intensive care from 🇮🇹 that can be treated in 🇩🇪. Thanks, @germaniaitalia, @SachsenDE, @RegBerlin, @NdsLandesReg, @RegHessen, @landnrw, government of Brandenburg. “We stand at the side of our 🇮🇹 friends.” @HeikoMaas
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Italy’s health care system has been ravaged by the overwhelming spread of the coronavirus.
Citizens over the age of 70 have essentially been left to fend for themselves, and many people who have lost loved ones are unable to even get their bodies picked up from home.
Since Italy is currently facing a shortage of doctors, retirees are being called back into the field, and nurses are graduating early to try to help.
However, Italy is not alone it its struggle — Germany has been hit hard by the coronavirus as well. Nearly 51,000 people in the country have contracted the virus, the fifth-highest total in the world.
German authorities are expecting their number of domestic cases of COVID-19 to increase significantly, with Reuters reporting that German Health Minister Jens Spahn said Thursday the country is in “the calm before the storm.” 
Despite the high number of cases, Germany has a COVID-19 fatality rate of under 0.7 percent, which is the lowest in the world among countries hit hard by the virus. Italy’s fatality rate, on the other hand, currently exceeds 10 percent.
Christian Drosten, the director of the institute of virology at the Charité hospital in Berlin, told NPR he believes Germany’s decentralized health care system has helped them get ahead of the curve.
Each of Germany’s federal states is in charge of its own health care system, allowing the states to make their own decisions on COVID-19 testing and run their own tests.
This is in stark contrast to how Italy’s national health care service, the Servizio Sanitario Nazionale, operates.
Italy’s government supplies its citizens with free, centralized health care.
But an analysis conducted by Matthew Tanous and published at Mises Institute found that South Korea, which has a hybrid health care system with a combination of state-run and free market aspects, has fared far better against COVID-19 than Italy, with its centralized, socialist system.
Germany has similarly benefited from having a more decentralized health care system.
“When Drosten’s university medical center developed what became the test recommended by the World Health Organization, they rolled these tests out to their colleagues throughout Germany in January,” NPR reported.
“And they of course rolled this out to labs they know in the periphery and to hospital labs in the area where they are situated,” Drosten said. “This created a situation where, let’s say, by the beginning or middle of February, testing was already in place, broadly.”
Since the end of February, Drosten estimated that around 120,000 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Germany per week.
Though there are still an ample amount of tests available in Germany, Drosten said he believes the growing number of cases will likely exceed their supply very soon.

Nevertheless, he expressed his concern for countries that are less prepared, like those in Africa.

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