Omikron is spreading in Germany. Karl Lauterbach, Lothar Wieler and Christian Drosten want to explain the current situation in a press conference.
- How is Germany reacting to the increasing number of cases* in the Corona crisis*?
- Expert trio: Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach* (SPD*), RKI boss Lothar Wieler and virologist Christian Drosten* are answering questions from the press today.
- Above all, the fast-spreading omicron variant* occupies the expert council of Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz*.
- Follow the press conference on the Corona situation in our live ticker.
Berlin – The Omicron variant is spreading rapidly in Germany. It now accounts for 73 percent of new infections, according to an RKI report with data from the first calendar week of 2022. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) therefore wants to give an up-to-date assessment of the increasing spread of the variant today. RKI boss Lothar Wieler and virologist Christian Drosten should also be there.
In addition to Omikron, other topics at the press conference are likely to be new quarantine rules, the discussion about compulsory vaccination, Stiko’s booster recommendation for children aged 12 and over and the situation in the health authorities. The federal and state governments had agreed on new quarantine rules, and the Bundestag passed a regulation on Thursday evening (01/13/2022). It stipulates, for example, that people with a booster vaccination are exempt from quarantine as contact persons for infected people. In general, quarantine and isolation times should be shortened. The Federal Council is meeting this Friday to finally deal with the rules.
Press conference with Lauterbach, Wieler and Drosten: Vaccination could also become an issue
Health Minister Lauterbach campaigned again on Thursday for the introduction of a general corona vaccination requirement. This is “the safest and fastest way out of the pandemic.” In the long term, this is only possible “if the vast majority of the population is vaccinated in such a way that severe courses can no longer be expected, even with new variants of the corona virus.” Because it has to dangerous and particularly contagious variants can also be expected in the future. Therefore, compulsory vaccination should be introduced – thoroughly, but in such a way that a fourth pandemic year does not have to be opened like it is now.
Meanwhile, the chairwoman of the Federal Association of Physicians in the Public Health Service, Ute Teichert, complained about the situation in the health authorities due to a lack of staff. “Many health authorities have therefore restricted contact tracing. You can only take care of larger outbreaks, for example in nursing homes, ”she told the newspapers of the Funke media group (Friday). “If the number of infections continues to rise, it will be difficult for the health authorities to enter the data on a daily basis.” If the staff is not significantly increased at short notice, there will be no clear overview of the pandemic in the next few weeks.
Virologist: The best way out of the pandemic would be if the vaccinated become infected
Because of the bottlenecks in German laboratories when evaluating PCR tests, politicians called for rules on who should be able to do such a test with priority. The health expert of the Union faction in the Bundestag, Tino Sorge (CDU), told the newspaper Welt: “As long as there is a risk of overload, the existing capacities must be used primarily according to urgency and medical needs.” submit tests. The chairman of the Association of German Laboratory Doctors, Andreas Bobrowski, said: “The test laboratories in northern Germany are already at the limit and it is a matter of time before everyone in the country has reached this mark.”
According to virologist Klaus Stöhr, tracking the contacts of infected people is no longer appropriate. “In terms of incidence, the health authorities can no longer cope,” he said in a podcast of the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger and the editorial network Germany. He added: “If a large part of the population is mildly and asymptomatically infected and has antibodies, a so-called contact tracking quarantine becomes pointless.” According to Stöhr, the best way out of the pandemic would be if the vaccinated became infected. “There will then be long-lasting immune protection in the package.” (ial/dpa) *fr.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.