The situation repeats itself. As in the last year, the corona infections have been increasing again for a few weeks. Can the fourth wave still be stopped?
The fourth corona wave is picking up speed – the number of infections has been rising steadily since July and intensive care physicians are worried. In Baden-Württemberg, too, the 7-day incidence has now climbed to over 90 *. At the same time, the authorities are increasingly failing to trace contacts, where this is considered essential to keep the pandemic in check. As reported by echo24.de *, the head of the Robert Koch Institute, Lothar Wieler, also warned of a “brilliant course” of the fourth wave. Can this scenario be prevented at all?
If WELT editor Olaf Gersemann has his way, then it is actually conceivable. “The fourth wave could break,” explains the journalist. His argumentation: Compared to the previous week, the Germany-wide 7-day incidence has continued to decline in the last few days. Gersemann is of the opinion that the fourth wave of infections is losing momentum. The nationwide 7-day incidence is currently 77.9. For the first time since September 2nd, the value has fallen below 80.
Coronavirus Germany: can the fourth wave still be broken?
The 7-day average of the new corona cases is now four percent below the previous week’s level. This is the best value since July sixth. “The trend suggests that the fourth wave will not only flatten out, but could even break,” reports Gersemann, referring to the figures from the Robert Koch Institute.
But even the WELT editor knows that the current figures do not rule out “a renewed increase in the number of cases in autumn” – and experts such as RKI boss Wieler warn against such a scenario. He again appeals to the German population to get vaccinated against Corona. The vaccination campaign is currently the biggest challenge, said Wieler to the editorial network in Germany .
After all, compared to some other European countries, Germany is not doing very well. While the Federal Republic is making slow progress and is currently stalling at around 62 percent complete vaccinations, Portugal can already record a vaccination rate of 77.6 – Denmark is 80 percent.
Corona in Germany: These methods should help to break the fourth wave
The vaccination fatigue of Germans is meanwhile to be overcome with a variety of approaches. While some rely on vaccination rewards – such as vouchers, free tickets or even a “vaccination bonus” – others want to approach the matter with stricter rules for unvaccinated people. In Baden-Württemberg, for example, a new Corona regulation * applies from today (Thursday, September 16), which even provides for the so-called 2G rule in a step-by-step plan.
Above a certain threshold, people without complete immunization are then largely excluded from cultural life. A visit to a restaurant, theater or cinema is suspended for an indefinite period of time. But Frank Ulrich Montgomery, the chairman of the World Medical Association, has now also spoken out in favor of tightening the corona restrictions.
Corona in Germany: 2G rule remains controversial – exceptions required
“In order to break the fourth wave before it becomes dramatic, one should now introduce a 2G rule nationwide wherever it is possible,” Montgomery told the newspapers of the Funke media group . However, there must be exceptions – for example in local public transport, from which unvaccinated people cannot simply be excluded. However, Montgomery advocates a stricter 3G rule here as well. “Unvaccinated people would then have to show a current PCR test. A simple rapid test should no longer be sufficient, ”said the chief medical officer.
Schools and daycare centers must not be restricted again
Politicians such as SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich are also calling for at least exceptions to the 2G rule, for example for children. “Schools and daycare centers must not be restricted again,” said Mützenich of the Rheinische Post . But he, too, is generally in favor of the 2G rule in order to break the fourth corona wave. Because even if the numbers are currently falling slightly, experts warn against giving the all-clear too quickly.
Corona in Germany: Epidemiologist sees reason for “cautious optimism”
The Saarbrücken expert for corona prognosis Thorsten Lehr, for example, told the German press agency dpa : “We were able to observe this behavior of the incidence curve almost to the day in the last year.” Even then, the incidence fell slightly or remained at a constant level before it rose sharply at the end of September. If the current vaccination situation does not improve and the contact restrictions remain as loose as they are now, a similar increase can be expected again at the end of September and beginning of October.
But there are also optimistic researchers. The epidemiologist Hajo Zeeb sees the currently relatively constant infection figures as a reason for cautious optimism. This year, the number of hospitalizations and deaths is lower than in 2020. He therefore assumes that “the course will be significantly cheaper this year” if there are no new variants. * echo24.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.