Corona crisis: France asks Bundeswehr for help

The French government requests support from the German armed forces because of the corona crisis. According to SPIEGEL information, Paris asked in recent days via military and diplomatic contacts whether the German armed forces could help quickly because of the emergency in the neighboring country.

Helicopters are therefore urgently needed to transfer Corona patients from particularly affected regions to other parts of the country, as well as support for the care of sick patients who are currently pushing the health system to its capacity limits An internal Bundeswehr note also states that the Franco-German brigade is deployed. What the soldiers are supposed to be used for is still open. The Bundeswehr is examining whether and how you can help.

So far, inquiries from France have been made at work level, and an official request has not yet been received in Berlin. In the defense department, however, it is expected that the Paris counterpart of Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer could soon get in touch with a formal request.

In principle, administrative assistance from the Bundeswehr in the neighboring country would be conceivable; the military of both countries work closely together on many levels. The deployment of the Franco-German brigade to executive tasks such as guarding barracks or even enforcing the exit rules would hardly be possible. At the civil level, Germany is already accepting patients from France. Hessen announced on Thursday that it would treat 14 seriously ill corona patients from France and Italy. According to the State Chancellery in Wiesbaden, ten of them come from Emilia-Romagna in Italy and four from the French region of Grand-Est.

More than 2,800 Covid-19 patients in intensive care in France, meanwhile one of the centers of the corona crisis. According to the regional health authority, 3,068 people with an infection were hospitalized by Wednesday, almost 651 of them in intensive care units. Since the pandemic started, more than 500 deaths have been reported across the region. Greater Paris is also affected, with Spain asking NATO for help earlier in the week. When asked to contact the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Center, Madrid sought help with medical care.

The situation in France has worsened in the past few days. There are more than 25,000 infected people and more than 1,300 deaths in the country. The French health care system is massively overloaded with the crisis. According to the Ministry of Health, 11,500 corona patients are treated in hospitals across the country, including 2,800 in intensive care units.

President Emmanuel Macron's government once again urged the French to stay at home. In the fight against the spread of the virus, France had imposed stringent exit restrictions, which are monitored by the police, more than a week ago, and Macron has been very aggressive in recent days. Already 14 days ago he had spoken martial of a "war" against the virus. On Wednesday evening, he appeared again on television. He spoke to his people from a field hospital in Mulhouse and announced the increased use of the military.
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