The words of Professor Dr. Klaus Stöhr are heard around the world when it comes to Corona – but less in their own country. Here he analyzes the strategy of the federal government.
- The federal government and the states implement a strict one Corona coursefrom which young people in particular suffer.
- A renowned scientist warns to weigh up the Lockdown measures.
- in the interview he talks about the problems of the current strategy.
Munich / Berlin – Professor Dr. Klaus Stöhr * is one of the most experienced disease fighters in the world, headed the WHO influenza program and coordinated its research Sars viruses. His words are heard by governments around the world, but not in their own country. Chancellor Angela Merkel * did not invite the 61-year-old virologist and epidemiologist to the latest crisis summit with the Prime Minister – although the SPD-led countries had urged it. In an interview with our newspaper, Stöhr analyzes the Corona strategy by Merkel, Söder & Co.
Corona in Germany: Critical treatment of children – “Simply not differentiated enough”
How do you rate the new lockdown resolutions?
What are the weak points of the lockdown strategy?
Why should this goal, declared by the Chancellor like a prayer wheel, not be achieved?
Stöhr: The virus is widespread, we have three to five times the number of unreported cases of infection. It will be cold for a few more weeks, which will make it easier for the virus to spread than in summer. The measures will have an effect, but the incidence can never be kept below 50 in the long term. The experiences in our neighboring countries are clearer. After several lockdowns, the incidences here are all well over 100. The experience from Ireland was tragic: After a national effort, the 50 mark was reached in December. After loosening it, it jumped to a record over 900.
Corona course from Angela Merkel and Co .: “Treating everyone equally will not work”
Which limit value do you think makes sense?
Stöhr: In the last few weeks you have seen that we in Germany can handle an incidence of 130, 160, maybe 180 well. The hospitals are burdened, but not overloaded. We are even seeing a decrease in the incidence. At the same time, there are still many deaths, especially in old people’s homes. The correct conclusion from this is: Treating the entire population equally with a watering can principle will not work. To set the same incidence limit for children and residents of old people’s homes is simply not differentiated enough in my opinion. Such an epidemic affects risk groups, in the case of Covid-19 mainly old people. I don’t understand at all how one can curb the infection rate in nursing homes by closing kindergarten and school closings.
In Merkel’s advisory team, for example, your colleague Melanie Brinkmann even calls for a zero-covid strategy – i.e. zero incidence. Realistic?
Stöhr: Zero Covid is zero realistic. Achieving this goal and then keeping it in the middle of Europe in winter for the long term is so far from reality. I am amazed that this is seriously considered.
Because it’s a purely mathematical approach to fighting the pandemic. With such a natural event, however, you have to see the reality: from our experience with other contagious respiratory diseases, we have learned that the incidence in winter is ten to 15 times higher than in summer. We can also see from the bad experiences in our neighboring countries that a hard lockdown cannot keep the incidence below 100 in the long term.
Germany and the fight against corona: why is the federal government ignoring virologist Stöhr?
What has to be done so that we can get a better grip on Corona?
Angela Merkel apparently does not want to hear this criticism. Why are you not represented in Germany’s most important crisis team?
Stöhr: You have to ask others. I have advised many governments. Most of them tried to invite a representative group of experts from different fields. You have worked out various approaches to combating the pandemic, all of the advantages and disadvantages shown. This was then discussed openly. The best possible compromise can then be found from the sum of the alternatives. At least that’s how I’ve experienced crisis management during outbreaks.
What exactly do the Chancellor and Prime Minister have to do differently?
Isn’t that the job of politicians?
Naturally. But without a long-term, achievable goal, a positive agenda and the vague hope that everything will be different after the lockdown, their daily arguments unfortunately do not work in many cases.
Do you have a specific example ready?
In November it was said: “We will now lockdown until Christmas – and after that everything will be fine.” It was already clear then that the virus and winter would still be there four weeks later and that more than 90 percent of the population would be susceptible. To argue like this is simply not enough. A pandemic is a long-term event.
Corona mutations a serious danger? Virologist describes the background of the infections
The latest reasons for lockdown are provided by new virus variants, especially from England. Is the fear of B117 and other mutations justified?
A pandemic is inconceivable without a surprise. There are already many thousands of such variants. You have to watch them all closely, of course, and the English variant B117 appears to be more infectious than the original Sars-CoV2 virus. From the perspective of an epidemic fighter, however, I do believe that we can deal with such variants. Don’t panic.
But Merkel warns that variants like B117 could multiply the number of infections in a short time. Don’t you see this danger?
Interview: Andreas Beez