Home Politics Drosten and Lauterbach warn against early infection

Drosten and Lauterbach warn against early infection

Drosten and Lauterbach warn against early infection

Jan 14, 2022 @ 3:53pm

Strategy against Corona: Drosten and Lauterbach warn against early contamination

Christian Drosten (lr), Lothar Wieler and Karl Lauterbach in the BPK. Photo: dpa/Kay Nietfeld Berlin Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, RKI boss Lothar Wieler and virologist Christian Drosten have once again provided information on the current pandemic situation. They urgently warn against the population being infected too early.

In view of the increasing number of corona infections, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach warned that hospitals and laboratories could reach their limits. Nevertheless, additional measures are currently not necessary because, unlike other countries, Germany does not have to expect a very steep increase in the numbers, said the SPD politician on Friday in Berlin. The President of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Lothar Wieler, and the Charité virologist Christian Drosten also said that the corona measures in Germany caused a slower increase in the number of infections. If the development changes, adjustments have to be made, said Lauterbach. “One can rule out loosening at the moment.” In the case of corona infections, the omicron variant will have completely replaced the delta variant in a few days, according to Wieler. Due to the mass of infections, one has to be prepared for the fact that the number of hospital admissions and deaths will increase again. So far, the deaths have not increased again: “But that will change.” On Friday, the Federal Council approved a reduction in the quarantine and isolation times, which are to come into force on Saturday. In most cases, a free test should then be possible after seven days. The RKI reported a new high for new infections on Friday with 92,223. That’s 35,888 more than a week ago. At the same time, the nationwide seven-day incidence also rose to a record of 470.6 after 427.7 the previous day. 286 people died in connection with the virus. Novavax vaccine should be available in February 2022. Drosten, Wieler and Lauterbach pointed out that the omicron virus variant, which is now dominant, leads to milder disease progression on average: According to the RKI, the so-called hospitalization incidence was 3.23 on Friday. It indicates how many people with corona disease per 100,000 inhabitants are hospitalized in one week. However, the Minister of Health warned that the very high number of cases could still lead to a high absolute number of hospital patients infected with corona. In the very severe cases, however, there is a slight relaxation: the number of corona intensive care patients recently fell to 2841. Drosten warned that he should already be counting on the population in Germany being infected. Three million people over the age of 60 have not yet been vaccinated, almost nine million have not been boosted and are therefore not fully protected against the omicron virus variant. But at some point you have to “let the virus run” because you can’t keep vaccinating the population.

It is positive that the doubling period for infections has increased to 6.5 days, said Lauterbach. The anti-corona measures have reduced contacts in Germany to around 50 percent of the “pre-pandemic age”. “Nevertheless, there is no reason to give the all-clear.” Wieler announced that the test strategy would change. On the one hand, because of Omikron, fewer PCR tests are needed to analyze variants. In addition, testing will become less important in a few months if the effects of corona infections continue to weaken. Meanwhile, the federal government is sticking to its goal of achieving an 80 percent rate of first-time vaccinations by the end of January. Deputy government spokeswoman Christiane Hoffmann says that this is a very ambitious goal that is being worked on at full speed. “We still have some time.” Lauterbach had previously expressed doubts as to whether the goal was still achievable. According to the RKI, 734,061 people were vaccinated on Thursday. Among them were 50,604 first vaccinations. Overall, 74.9 percent received at least one vaccination. Vaccinations with the preparation from the manufacturer Novavax can probably start in Germany at the end of February. The first shipment of 1.75 million doses is scheduled to be available from February 21. Lauterbach said that on Friday with reference to company information. Exact dates for another 3.25 million doses that have been purchased have not yet been determined. He hopes for delivery in February. Lauterbach explained that the preparation, which is “quasi an inactivated vaccine”, should be particularly available to those who prefer this type of vaccination. He himself could not assess the value of the Omicron variant well. But he assumes that the vaccine should work well. Vaccinations with it would be recommended. The Novavax agent was recently approved as the fifth corona vaccine in the EU. Two doses are injected about three weeks apart. It is a protein vaccine – so it is based on a different technology than the previously available corona preparations. The effectiveness for protection against symptomatic infections was given by the EU medicines authority EMA at around 90 percent. Experts pointed out that not as much is known about the new vaccine as about the other preparations that have been in widespread use for some time. (felt/dpa/Reu)

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