European solidarity

How Germany is supporting EU member states during the COVID-19 crisis.

Airlifting intensive-care patients to Germany
Airlifting intensive-care patients to Germany dpa

Europe is the continent hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. Each day there are thousands of confirmed new cases and hundreds of deaths, with Italy, Spain and France hit particularly hard. “It is surely a matter of course that in Europe we help one another,” German Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told Italy’s “Corriere della Sera” newspaper. “The order of the day must now be: One for all and all for one.”

Treatment for patients from the EU

On Saturday and Sunday, the German air force carried out two airlifts, each transporting six Italian patients from Bergamo in North Italy to Germany using a specially equipped Airbus. According to the German Federal Ministry of Defence, the patients were then distributed across clinics in the states of North Rhine Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Lower Saxony, and Hamburg. An A400M military transport plane flew two French patients in intensive care from Strasbourg to Stuttgart. In total, several dozen European patients suffering from the COVID-19 virus are now being treated in Germany.

EU tourists also repatriated

In an unprecedented campaign to repatriate citizens, the German Federal government has flown 175,000 people back to Germany, among them many EU nationals from other member states. On average, 17 nationals from other EU countries were on board each of the flights the Federal government chartered. Overall, no fewer than 1,750 non-German EU citizens have been repatriated in this way. “We really prioritise EU solidarity,” comments Frank Hartmann, Head of the Crisis Management Team at the German Federal Foreign Office.