Home Health Corona: Lauterbach and Drosten warn of early contagion

Corona: Lauterbach and Drosten warn of early contagion

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Corona: Lauterbach and Drosten warn of early contagion


“We can see that the contact measures are working,” said Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) at the beginning of the press conference on the Corona situation. In Germany there are currently only about half as many contacts as before the corona pandemic. The number of corona infections is also not doubling as quickly as in other countries.

Make a “hill” out of the “steep wall”.

The goal of the federal government is to make “a hill” out of the “steep wall of infection numbers” that Omikron is coming towards Germany. If that succeeds, Germany will have fewer deaths, less severe courses, fewer complications and fewer long-Covid cases. As far as can be seen so far, the measures have had the expected effect. The unavoidable omicron wave should be slowed down and the time gained used for vaccinations. Vaccinations with the preparation from the US manufacturer Novavax should probably be possible from the end of February. For the time being, the Minister of Health does not see any reason for additional tightening of everyday restrictions. From his point of view, “the right package of measures is in place at the moment,” said the SPD politician. You can still master the wave with the new Omikron variant with accelerated booster vaccinations. However, controls and the comprehensive implementation of existing restrictions are necessary.

Many unvaccinated older people in Germany

Nevertheless, there is no reason to give the all-clear. Germany has the special situation that it has a particularly high rate of unvaccinated older people. For this reason, studies from other countries that indicate less serious illnesses caused by omicrons and fewer hospital admissions cannot be transferred 1:1 to Germany. “I believe that we are now entering difficult waters,” added the Federal Minister of Health. Because hospitals and laboratories would reach their limits. According to RKI boss Lothar Wieler, the mass of infections means that the number of hospital admissions and deaths will increase again. So far, the deaths have not increased again: “But that will change.”

Changed test strategy

Lauterbach said that with a view to free testing from the quarantine, he would prioritize the PCR test evaluation for health workers. The President of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Lothar Wieler, made it clear that in the case of a 100% omicron wave, it is no longer so important to check the exact virus variant. The test use is generally changing continuously. If a capacity limit is reached, then you focus the effort.

Drosten warns against relying on contamination now

In view of the rapidly spreading omicron variant of the corona virus, the virologist Christian Drosten warns against early infection in Germany. According to the current state of knowledge, the virus variant is milder in course, but because there are too many cases, this gain is “wiped out again,” said the scientist from the Berlin Charité. There are still far too many unvaccinated people in Germany, especially in the over-60s group. In addition, many people have not yet received a booster vaccination, which is the most effective means of fighting omicrons, according to Drosten. The virologist spoke of several “difficult double messages” in the current discussion. At some point you have to “let the virus run” because you can’t keep vaccinating the population. “But we don’t know at the moment whether we can afford it in Germany given the lack of vaccinations,” warned Drosten. “We’re flying a bit blind there.”

Largely endemic situation possible by the end of the year

Drosten assumed that the endemic situation would be largely reached by the end of the year. He promised that the vaccination against the omicron variant would probably have to be readjusted. There will have to be an adapted vaccination, according to the virologist. Perhaps from the second quarter large parts of the population or perhaps even all of them should receive an update vaccination against Omikron. The virologist reiterated his appeal to the unvaccinated to be immunized urgently.


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