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Old tools versus new variant

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Old tools versus new variant


Berlin. Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach wants to slow down the spread of the omicron wave with vaccinations, boosters and 2G plus in the catering industry. The aim is to “make a hill out of the otherwise expected steep wall of infection numbers,” said the SPD politician on Friday at a press conference in Berlin.

FDP does not want stricter restrictions

Lauterbach, who is also a doctor, counts himself on the “Team Caution”. A few days ago he warned that an epidemic – such as that which takes place in England – is not ethically justifiable. Nevertheless, the minister sees no reason for additional tightening of everyday restrictions for the time being. From his point of view, the right package of measures has been decided at the present time. What he didn’t say: The coalition partner FDP is currently rejecting stricter restrictions. Whether the existing regulations will remain in place depends largely on the infection rate in the coming days. If the number of cases increases significantly and medical care is expected to be overloaded, countermeasures must also be taken, said Lauterbach. “But we’re not at that point,” he said.

General vaccination is a long time coming

The President of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Lothar Wieler, and the chief virologist at the Berlin Charité, Christian Drosten, insisted on the need for vaccination. There are still far too many unvaccinated people in Germany, especially in the group of over 60-year-olds, said Drosten. Wieler and Lauterbach agreed. However, there is currently no sign of a quick adoption of general vaccination requirements in the German Bundestag. In any case, the Minister of Health does not want to submit his own application to Parliament. This must come from the MPs themselves. Until then, the federal government will only have old tools in the fight against the new variant. Despite the milder courses, Omikron is much more contagious than the Delta variant. The virus is spreading rapidly in the population, as the latest figures show. The new infections are reaching highs – now more than 90,000 new infections per day. Scientists are particularly concerned about the great dynamics: According to the RKI, almost three quarters of the corona evidence examined for variants can already be assigned to the omicron pathogen in the first calendar week of 2022. Meanwhile, the number of corona patients admitted to clinics per 100,000 inhabitants fell slightly within seven days. Currently, the hospitalization rate is 3.09 – 3.13 on Wednesday and 3.34 on Tuesday. But if the number of infections continues to rise rapidly, hospital admissions will also increase. Video Vaccine researchers: Fourth corona vaccination may only be for risk groups The booster vaccinations are in full swing in Germany. Will vaccinations be necessary every three months soon? © dpa The German Hospital Society (DKG) is also concerned with the dynamics of the omicron variant. “The rapidly increasing number of infections will inevitably also be felt in the hospitals in the coming days and weeks,” said CEO Gerald Gass to the RND. “Above all, we will experience more heavily loaded normal wards.” This also means that the outpatient sector will face a new challenge.


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