Sunday, January 16, 2022

Minister on the pandemic situation in Lauterbach: "It’s not over now"

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The Omikron variant is also on the rise in Germany. Health Minister Lauterbach explains that the corona measures are working – but he does not want to give the all-clear yet.

According to Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach, the measures to contain the corona pandemic are slowing down the increase in cases of infection with the omicron variant. Germany does not have the short doubling time of infections as other countries, said the SPD politician on Friday in Berlin. The doubling period was around 4.5 days a few weeks ago. Currently moving towards 6.5 days. 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.”

The strategy is to slow and stretch the omicron wave while boosting as many people as possible. The booster vaccinations should also continue. “We are continuing the booster vaccination campaign.” Overall he was happy with the pace.

The pandemic is now “in difficult waters” in Germany. More people would have to be treated with infections, hospitals would be more heavily burdened. The goal now is “to make a hill out of the otherwise expected steep wall of infection numbers or that the wall is not that high,” said Lauterbach.

At the same time, the restrictions that were already in place were having an effect – for example with a longer doubling time for the number of infections. In addition, there are now even stricter access rules for vaccinated and recovered people with additional tests (2G-plus) in the catering trade.

Lauterbach confirmed that studies that classify Omicron as milder than the Delta variant cannot be transferred one-to-one to Germany. Because fewer older people are represented in the studies. In Germany there is the special situation that many older people are also unvaccinated and have risk factors. “It’s not all over with the omicron wave.” He warns of an infection. “The number of victims that we would then have to complain about is uncertain. And certainly too high.” The laboratories would reach their limits.

The Minister of Health therefore orders a prioritization of the PCR tests. Priority should be given to staff in medical facilities.

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