Current data on the Omikron variant give hope for a milder corona course. Karl Lauterbach expresses himself cautiously optimistic – but is concerned about one section of the population.
Update from 01.01.2021, 10.45 p.m.: Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) is cautiously optimistic about the further development of the corona pandemic – but he is very worried about one population group: Lauterbach is “very, very worried about the unvaccinated, who now run into the Omikron wave, “said the health minister opposite Bild am Sonntag.
The SPD politician and epidemiologist called for vaccinations in the newspaper: “The first vaccination drastically lowers the risk of death after just 14 days,” he explains and continues: “I appeal to everyone: Get vaccinated”. The Minister of Health also reminds us of the wearing of masks: “We should definitely wear masks when we meet other people. This is especially true for teaching. Consistent wearing of the masks in school is an absolute must for all classes. “
Corona variant Omikron: Karl Lauterbach is cautiously optimistic
First report from 01.01.2021, 5.30 p.m.: Frankfurt – In view of the current development of the corona pandemic and new data on the Omikron variant, Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) is still concerned but also cautiously optimistic for the new year. There is “light at the end of the tunnel,” said Lauterbach on Friday evening in the ZDF New Year’s Eve show *.
The Omikron variant would be another difficult challenge. “But it looks like this variant would be a little less dangerous than the Delta variant,” said Lauterbach. That is a ray of hope. It is not yet known exactly whether this also applies to the unvaccinated.
Lauterbach shares a study on Omikron in South Africa on Twitter. This shows that the variant spreads four times as fast as Delta, but caused significantly less severe cases. However, the data did not allow any clear conclusions to be drawn about older unvaccinated people.
Corona situation in Germany: Incidence is increasing – virologists nevertheless confident
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported an increase in the official seven-day incidence for the third day in a row on Saturday. The value was 220.3 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants and week, with the RKI assuming an underreporting on the holidays. It is therefore currently unclear how high the Omikron wave is in Germany. Its climax is still to be expected. The health authorities reported 26,392 new corona infections to the RKI within one day. There were 184 new deaths.
The Berlin virologist Christian Drosten was also confident. The severity of the disease is very likely reduced with Omikron, he said on Friday on Deutschlandfunk. The data for this increased. An unvaccinated person with Omicron infection carries three quarters of the risk of hospitalizing an unvaccinated person with Delta.
Corona: Christian Drosten warns of the Omikron wave
Compared to other countries, Drosten sees Germany as the “special problem” of the many unvaccinated people. For those who have not been vaccinated, it is now “really dangerous” because of the rapid spread of Omikron, with new infections doubling every four days. At least 71.2 percent of the total population have the immune protection of usually two vaccinations. At least 38.7 percent also received a booster vaccination (as of December 31, 2021).
According to Lauterbach, he shares Drosten’s assessment that Germany now has the chance of an endemic situation. “But it is only a chance, it is not a certainty.” Lauterbach explained that if the virus were endemic, then “at no point in time” would there be a risk of an overburdened health system. You would then be able to live with the virus.
Lauterbach said Omikron may form a bridge. “But we do not yet know for sure, because we do not yet know how dangerous the Omicron variant is for those who are completely unvaccinated.” (Sne / dpa)
A new study gives an indication of why the Omikron variant may often produce milder disease courses.
Rubriklistenbild: © Chris Emil Janssen/Imago