(Reuters) – Germany wants to double the number of hospital beds available from their current level of 500,000 in order to cope with the coronavirus epidemic, the defense minister said.

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who said the armed forces would also be deployed in support of this effort, added that the number of intensive care beds equipped with respirators would also roughly double to about 50,000 from 28,000 currently.

(Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Joseph Nasr)