Sunday, December 5, 2021

Corona-Politik Union wants to block the lifting of the epidemic emergency

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The new NRW Prime Minister has sharply criticized Olaf Scholz for the corona strategy of the traffic light parties. He calls for a change of course – and wants to hold on to the pandemic emergency.

The federal states led by the Union want to stop the planned lifting of the epidemic emergency in the Federal Council on November 25th. This emerges from a letter from the North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst (CDU), which is available to the “Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland” (RND).

The draft law in its current version is not sufficient to get the infection process under control in the coming weeks, according to the letter, which was sent to Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) and several state governments.

“In view of the volatile and dynamic infection process with absolute maximum numbers of new infections, the expiry of the epidemic situation is irresponsible,” RND quoted from the letter. “As a minimum, the federal states would have to be able to react flexibly to combat a particularly dynamic infection process.” Therefore the possibility to take the measures mentioned in paragraph 28a of the law is necessary. Exit restrictions and closings of daycare centers, schools and universities should no longer be allowed.

Previously, Wüst – currently also chairman of the Ministerial Presidents’ Conference (MPK) – expressed harsh criticism of the SPD chancellor candidate Scholz in the Düsseldorf state parliament. “Olaf Scholz has drained the states and tried to put them before a fait accompli with the Infection Protection Act – with devastating consequences,” said Wüst on Wednesday in a special session of the Düsseldorf state parliament.

Wüst asked Scholz to correct his course. Everyone should have withdrawn wrong decisions in the pandemic. “Even the future Chancellor would not break a spike in the crown to turn back at this point.”

Unfortunately, on Tuesday evening, the main committee of the Bundestag refused to allow the states to continue to use tried and tested instruments to protect people, said Wüst. “The numbers are increasing, the instrument box is getting smaller. It doesn’t fit together.” Parliament and the government should be able to protect people in the event of a fall. Chancellor Merkel also criticized the traffic light parties for their Corona course. Read more here.

At the same time, the Düsseldorf head of government announced increased fines and stricter controls on compliance with the corona rules in his state. “Anyone who disregards the rules must expect sensitive and more sensitive fines,” he clarified. A violation of the mask requirement will be punished with 150 euros instead of 50 euros. Anyone who, as a provider, issues a test certificate without actually having taken a test would have to pay up to 5,000 euros. “It has to be clear to everyone that this is no joke – this is about health,” said Wüst.

While the Prime Minister Scholz criticized, the Greens in North Rhine-Westphalia criticized his course: Wüst’s announced tightened corona measures would come too late. The protective measures could take effect in 14 days at the earliest, warned Greens parliamentary group leader Verena Schäffer in the special session of the state parliament. The black and yellow state government wants to implement the so-called 2G rule in NRW next week. The seven-day incidence in North Rhine-Westphalia is already 183, said Schäffer. Until the measures take effect, it will continue to increase.

SPD opposition leader Thomas Kutschaty called on the new Prime Minister to take more decisive measures in the fight against Corona. In contrast to Wüst, North Rhine-Westphalia was “no longer in the situation” in the pandemic, Kutschaty warned on Wednesday in the special session of the state parliament. Many people would become infected with the corona virus in the next few days and weeks. Wüst’s creation of the word “concentrated vigilance” is only a “glossing over term for doing nothing”.

The access restrictions announced by the state government for people who have not been vaccinated or who have recovered must be consistently monitored, said the SPD party and parliamentary group leader. For this, the municipalities would have to be provided with the appropriate financial and human resources. Kutschaty also called for the reintroduction of the mask requirement in classrooms in schools. The closure of the vaccination centers in the cities and districts was a mistake. A decentralized vaccination structure must now be set up quickly.

Kutschaty said he thought it would be wrong to rush to rule out certain corona measures. He also no longer wants to close schools and daycare centers. But maybe you will not be able to do without other, local contact restrictions. Kutschaty called on all citizens of North Rhine-Westphalia to be vaccinated and also to have a booster vaccination. People should keep their distance, wear masks, and get tested. “The fight against the fourth wave has only just begun.”

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