French and Italian authorities are evacuating coronavirus patients from their worst-hit regions to Germany for treatment.
Patients were seen arriving at Hamburg Airport where medics stretchered them from planes to hospital for treatment.
The French authorities have established a centre for migrants to use as shelter at the Jean Jaures gymnasium in Paris.
France has been evacuating dozens over the past week from the east, hoping to stay ahead of a crisis that Prime Minister Edouard Philippe warned would only worsen over the next two weeks.
Pictured: A patient from Bergamo is carried on a stretcher from a German Bundeswehr air force Airbus A-310 ‘Medivac’ during their arrival at Helmut-Schmidt-Airport
Pictured: Medics treat a patient at Helmut-Schmidt-Airport in Hamburg as researchers prepare to issue immunity certificates
Pictured: A man sits on a bed and looks at his phone at the Jean Jaures gymnasium which has been organised to welcome migrants in Paris
Pictured: Migrants rest in their beds at the Jean Jaures gymnasium which has been organised to welcome migrants today
Pictured: Migrants go about with their lives as they stay at the Jean Jaures gymnasium in Paris on the thirteenth day of lockdown
The east of France has been savaged by the deadly virus, with more cases there than anywhere else in the country.
Francois Brun, head of emergency services at the regional hospital in nearby Metz said: ‘We have to free up beds, it’s absolutely crucial that we air out these intensive care units. We’re still seeing an increase in patient numbers.’
The evacuations came as Germany sent a military plane to Strasbourg for the first time to bring two patients to a hospital in Ulm.
Two specially modified TGV high-speed trains (one pictured) carried 36 patients from Mulhouse and Nancy toward hospitals along France’s western coast today
French medics are pictured wearing hazmat suits escorting a coronavirus patient on a stretcher in Mulhouse, eastern France, before putting them on a special TGV train to the west
Today a French helicopter transported two patients to Metz and Essen in Western Germany.
‘This war will probably be won on the basis of intensive care beds, and our ability to strategically use all our intensive care resources on the national level,’ said Marie-Odile Saillard, director of the Metz regional hospital.
In total, 80 French patients have been hospitalised in Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg, European Affairs Minister Amelie de Montchalin told France Inter radio.
The minister also revealed Germany had provided France with urgently-needed ventilators as recently as yesterday.
Overall nearly 4,300 coronavirus patients are in intensive care, many with severe respiratory problems requiring ventilators that officials worry could soon be in short supply.
Philippe said the government was racing to have 14,000 intensive care beds available soon, compared with around 5,000 before the outbreak began in January.
There are now 37,575 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in France, up 4,611 on the day before.
A French helicopter transported two patients to Metz and Essen (pictured landing there today) in Western Germany
One of two coronavirus patients who were transported by French military helicopter are pictured after they landed at Essen Airport in Germany today
French medics are pictured aboard one of the country’s high speed TGV trains at Nancy station in the east, ready to take coronavirus patients to the west where there are more resources
The death toll stands at 2,314, but the numbers do not include deaths reported by the roughly 7,000 retirement homes and assisted-living facilities across the country, where officials fear the virus risks spreading quickly.
Those figures will start to be reported this week, the prime minister said Sunday, warning that ‘the battle is only starting.’
The government has ordered one billion face masks, mainly from China, but warned that worldwide demand for protective equipment meant they might not arrive soon enough for medical workers facing shortages.
France has been on lockdown since March 17 in a bid to limit the outbreak, a situation it now expects to last until at least April 15.
Left to right: Metz’ mayor Dominique Gros, Mercy hospital’s emergencies head and president of SAMU Urgences de France president Francois Braun, Nancy mayor Laurent Henart and Nancy hospital emergency units’ head Lionel Nace talk next to a medicalised TGV train today
Germany to issue coronavirus ‘immunity certificates’ to people who have recovered in a bid to bring their lockdown to an end
By Sebastian Murphy-Bates for MailOnline
‘Immunity certificates’ are set to be introduced in Germany as part of preparations for the country to cease its lockdown.
Researchers want to bring in the documents for citizens not at risk of contracting the novel coronavirus.
It comes as Chancellor Angela Merkel’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic has secured a boost in poll ratings.
Chancellor Angela Merkel (pictured) has secured a boost in poll ratings over her handling of the crisis
As part of Germany’s fight against the virus, scientists are using antibodies in test participants to find out which of them have had the illness and healed, Der Spiegel reports.
The team plans to test 100,000 people at a time, issuing documentation to those who have built up an immunity.
They will then use the information gleaned from the testing to assess how and when the lockdown should conclude.
Researchers will utilise the data as they advise the government on when schools will be re-opened and mass gatherings permitted once again.
The Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig is overseeing the project.
It will conduct blood tests over the next few weeks to look for antibodies produced in carriers of the illness.
‘Those who are immune can then be given a vaccination certificate that would, for example, allow them to be exempt from any (lockdown-related) restrictions on their work,’ said project-leading epidemiologist Gerard Krause.
The tests will also offer a clearer look at how many people in Germany have contracted the coronavirus.