NNever before have there been so many Covid cases as with the omicron variant. Nevertheless, the contact restrictions in Germany ensure that the Omicron Wall is not quite as steep as in other countries. Making a hill out of the steep peak and extending the increase in infection as long as possible is one of the primary goals of the federal government, said Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD). During this time, it is important to provide as many people as possible with a booster vaccination. Germany does not have the short doubling time of infections like other countries. The doubling period was around 4.5 days a few weeks ago. It is currently moving towards 6.5 days. As a result of the anti-corona measures, contacts in Germany have been reduced to around 50 percent of the “pre-pandemic era”. “Nevertheless, there is no reason to give the all-clear,” said Lauterbach.
The minister considers the current corona measures to be sufficient, but he is concerned that the applicable 2G-plus rule is not being implemented everywhere and is not being adequately controlled. “We can rule out any loosening at the moment,” said Lauterbach. If the number of cases should increase significantly and an overload of medical care is to be expected, “then other measures must of course be taken to counteract this. There is a possibility of ending the pandemic in Germany this year, says Lauterbach. Now this possibility must also be used. Not every country is able to do this. “We are privileged,” he said on Friday in Berlin.
Lauterbach sees no reason for school closures
The President of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) Lothar Wieler pointed out that the hygiene measures must also be observed in the schools. In his eyes, wearing a mask is particularly important because omicron is particularly easy to transmit. Lauterbach currently sees no reason for school closures.
At the moment there are 800,000 active cases, explained Wieler, which means that almost one percent of the population is affected. Almost every fourth PCR test is positive. In the case of corona infections, the omicron variant will have completely replaced the delta variant in a few days. Their share of new infections is already 73.3 percent. Due to the mass of infections, one has to be prepared for the number of hospital admissions and deaths to rise again. So far, the deaths have not increased again: “But that will change.”
Drosten: Let the virus run at some point
Wieler announced that the testing strategy will change in the coming months. Like Health Minister Lauterbach, he no longer sees a great need to prove the spread of the now dominant omicron variant. One can save certain PCR tests and concentrate them where they are particularly needed, says Lauterbach. If the situation becomes endemic and the virus causes less serious diseases, you will have to test less anyway. The Federal Minister of Health had previously ordered prioritization of the PCR tests for the staff of medical facilities.
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