Berlin (dpa) – As a result of the Corona crisis, the federal government wants to establish a national health reserve at 19 locations in Germany with important material such as protective masks.
Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) told the German news agency: “This pandemic is teaching us to take more precautions.” The Corona cabinet must deal with the plans today. According to this, the reserve will be mainly filled with masks already purchased by the end of 2021, and then with material from domestic production. The needs of the health system and the federal government must be permanently available for one month.
Essentially, the reserve should consist of protective equipment, protective masks, fans and medication, Spahn explains. “In an emergency, we mainly support those who work in hospitals, nursing homes and medical practices. Good health care is essential because of the material. “
At the beginning of June, the federal government decided in principle to establish a “National Health Protection Reserve” and instructed the relevant ministries to develop a concept. The background is also that protective masks and other material were scarce at the start of the Corona crisis in the spring. The federal government then proceeded to tender and decided on incentives for domestic manufacturers. Medical facilities and the federal states must primarily continue to maintain their own reserves before accessing federal inventories.
In principle, the national reserve should be available locally, as stated in a proposal. For the first phase, 16 regional locations are currently planned by the federal government through logistics companies: Apfelstädt, Augsburg, Bergkamen, Biblis, Crailsheim, Dortmund, Emmerich, Euskirchen, Halle, Hamburg, Ibbenbüren, Kabelsketal, Krefeld, Langenhagen, Neuss, Unna. In addition, there are storage areas for hand disinfectants rented by the federal government in Neustadt, Muggensturm and Krefeld. The federal reserve must be compatible with the state reserves and cooperation must also be discussed.
In particular, the reserve must purchase and store certain quantities, but also secure delivery options and production capacities. Such a combination should be able to cover the requirements for up to six months – a minimum stock for one month should always be physically available. In addition to supplies to the health sector and the federal government, the proposal would also allow humanitarian aid with protective equipment to be provided to the World Health Organization (WHO) and other countries.