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Omicron variant now dominates in Germany | Currently Germany | DW

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 Omicron variant now dominates in Germany |  Currently Germany |  DW

In Germany, too, Omicron is now the dominant variant of the corona virus. As the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) states in its current weekly report, the proportion of all cases transmitted in the first calendar week of this year was 73 percent. However, there are still major differences nationwide. According to the RKI, the Omikron share was only eleven percent in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and 96 percent in Bremen.

Wieler: Omikron will completely displace Delta

According to the President of the Robert Koch Institute, Lothar Wieler, Omikron will have completely replaced the Delta variant in the case of corona infections in a few days. 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, said Wieler. So far, deaths have not increased again. “But that will change.” The Berlin institute also expects a sharp increase in infections in Germany in the coming weeks, including among those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered. At the same time, according to the RKI, initial studies indicate a lower proportion of hospital admissions compared to infections with the delta variant when considering infections with full vaccination (booster vaccination). However, the data situation is not yet sufficient for a final assessment of the severity of the diseases caused by the omicron variant.

Medical officers warn against rapid tests as a means of free testing

In view of the dominance of the new variant, the chairwoman of the Federal Association of Physicians in the Public Health Service (BVÖGD, Ute Teichert, finds antigen rapid tests unsuitable as a means of free testing for infected people in isolation. “As long as it is unclear which rapid tests reliably recognize the Omicron variant , it is problematic to use rapid tests as an alternative to PCR tests when free testing infected people,” Teichert told the newspapers of the Funke media group. “If the PCR tests become scarce, as expected, we are heading for a difficult situation.” According to the new quarantine rules, which the Bundestag and Bundesrat have approved, infected people and contact persons can usually be tested after seven days using a PCR test or a certified rapid test, thereby shortening the period by three days the sharp increase in the number of infections also means that there will be a loss of control over health all at the infection data. If the staff is not significantly increased in the short term, “we will not have a clear overview in the next few weeks,” she said. Many offices should have already restricted contact tracing.

Prioritization of PCR tests in the future

For the time being, Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach sees no reason in the Corona crisis to further tighten everyday restrictions. From his point of view, “the right package of measures is in place at the moment,” said the SPD politician in Berlin. However, he also emphasized: “Loosening can be ruled out at the moment.” The aim is to make a hill out of the otherwise expected steep wall of infection numbers – i.e. to slow down and stretch the omicron wave. The minister ordered the PCR tests to be prioritised. Priority should be given to staff in medical facilities. He justified this by saying that the capacities for PCR laboratory tests were approaching “full capacity”.

Incidence at 470.06

The incidence of new corona infections reached a new high. The RKI gives the seven-day incidence this Friday as 470.6. On Thursday, the value that quantifies the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants was 427.7. In total, the authorities reported 92,223 new corona cases, also a record. On Friday a week ago, 56,335 new infections were registered in Germany. se/qu/sti (dpa, afp, rtr, rki, Phoenix)



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