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CORONA PRESS CONFERENCE – The new Omicron forecast from Drosten, Lauterbach and Wieler – guide

CORONA PRESS CONFERENCE - The new Omicron forecast from Drosten, Lauterbach and Wieler - guide

Milder progressions due to omicron on the one hand. On the other hand, there are many more corona cases that could let this effect fizzle out. This dichotomy is currently making communication about Corona difficult, says virologist Christian Drosten.At some point you have to let the virus run. But when? asked the scientist from the Berlin Charité at a joint press conference with Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) and Prof. Lothar Wieler. The RKI boss sees Germany in a “new phase of the pandemic.”


It is still too early for the population to be infected with corona by the omicron variant, says Drosten. According to new studies, the virus variant is significantly milder in the course. However, due to the overall too many cases, this advantage is “wiped out again.”Because there are still far too many unvaccinated people in Germany. Especially in the vulnerable group of over 60-year-olds, the vaccination gap is too large to allow the virus to circulate freely through the population without danger. In addition, many have not yet received a booster vaccination, which increases the number of those at risk. Because without a booster, the vaccination does offer some protection against serious illnesses. However, Omikron can partially circumvent existing immunities.At some point you have to let the virus run, said the virologist, so that it can cause infections. But: “Can we already do that in Germany? We’re flying a bit blind there.”Drosten sees an improvement in the situation coming from Easter and for the summer.

“New phase of the pandemic”

Due to the currently increasing corona numbers, the head of the Robert Koch Institute, Lothar Wieler, sees Germany in a new phase of the pandemic. The Omicron variant now dominates and has largely supplanted Delta.Wieler emphasized that there are currently around 800,000 active corona cases in Germany: “That is one percent of the population. Every hundredth person in Germany.”
Nevertheless, the pure number of cases will be less important in the future than was previously the case. The focus will continue to shift to the situation in the clinics and in the health system.In addition, with the increasing number of cases, the exact data situation is becoming increasingly difficult to collect, and the number of unreported infections is also increasing. Contact tracing by the health authorities “hardly takes place anymore, to be honest,” said Wieler.

No new restrictions, but…

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach currently does not consider new measures to combat corona to be necessary. In his opinion, the existing ones work and slow down the increase in cases of infection with the omicron variant. Germany does not have the short doubling time of the infections as other countries, such as Great Britain, said the SPD politician. There, only three to four days passed before the omicron infections had doubled. In Germany, on the other hand, a period of just under a week is observed. That would show that the measures are working, according to Lauterbach. Nevertheless, he warned that the contact restrictions and rules that had been decided on had to be implemented everywhere. The Minister of Health also announced a prioritization of PCR tests for staff in medical facilities so that quarantine can be ended more quickly under certain conditions.

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