The corona numbers in Germany are breaking new records. The health minister commented on the vaccination requirement at the PK with RKI boss Wieler and Christian Drosten.
- The omicron variant of the corona virus is now also spreading rapidly in Germany.
- The number of new infections is higher than at any time since the beginning of the pandemic (see first report).
- Health Minister Lauterbach had to respond to a “provocative question” about vaccination (see update from January 14, 1:44 p.m.)
- RKI boss Wieler assumes that Omikron Delta will be almost completely displaced in the next few days (see update from January 14, 1:10 p.m.).
Update from January 14, 1:44 p.m .: Lauterbach is asked why he does not demand vaccination as Minister of Health, but as a member of the Bundestag he does. “A provocative question,” says Lauterbach with a smile. It is about the fact that the members of the middle of the Bundestag worked out their own proposals. And that they are not dictated by the government as this is an ethical issue.
Personally, however, he is in favor of compulsory vaccination from the age of 18, otherwise we would be in a difficult situation again next autumn and winter. If we were to vaccinate everyone, also thanks to mandatory vaccination, then life would also be easier for everyone who is currently doing without a lot because there are still so many unvaccinated. “Our children are currently giving up a lot to protect the unvaccinated,” says Lauterbach.
Update from January 14, 1:44 p.m .: When asked about compulsory vaccination, RKI boss Wieler replies: “The more people are vaccinated, the better our country gets through this pandemic. Now the question is: can we do it with the resources we currently have?”
However, there is a group of people who can no longer be reached with conventional campaigns. “We simply save more lives with compulsory vaccination,” said the RKI boss.
Lauterbach criticizes the lack of checks on vaccination certificates
Update from January 14, 1:29 p.m .: The situation in Germany is not as bad as in other countries, but Lauterbach does not want to rule out that if the cases continue to rise sharply and the health system threatens to collapse, further tightening will be decided.
However, we are not in this position and at the moment it is not necessary from his point of view. But he is worried that 2G-Plus is not yet valid everywhere, although it was decided in the MPK (e.g. in Bavaria) and the control of the evidence is not yet perfect. “We have to get better at enforcement,” says Lauterbach. According to the current studies, the Minister of Health cannot answer whether omicrons are milder or more severe in children. The situation is still unclear. But measures like the mask would help very well at Omikron. Masks and ventilation would prevent severe infections in children at school. Lauterbach does not see any signs of school closures.
“We don’t currently have a shortage of PCR,” says Lauterbach. But: The system runs under full load. That is why there is now a priority for medical staff for PCR tests. This is also important for free testing from quarantine.
Drosten sees good and bad conditions in Germany for the Omicron wave
Update from January 14, 1:17 p.m .: “It is a difficult time to communicate at the moment, because there are many misunderstandings in circulation.” Omicron is milder, but still very dangerous due to the rapid spread. He points out that a good prerequisite in Germany is that we already had strict measures in place at the beginning of the omicron wave. Most countries with severe omicron cases would not have had them, like England. A bad prerequisite is the large vaccination gap in Germany, which is particularly dangerous for the older population.
“We don’t know at the moment whether we can let the virus run in Germany,” explains Drosten. The vaccination gap in Germany is probably still too large. South Africa is already further along, as many have already been infected naturally. However, omicron virus could be a bit more controllable at the moment. “The virus is not stronger in itself,” says the virologist.
He assumes that we will need a fourth vaccination with an adapted vaccine in spring/summer.
Wieler warns: Omikron will soon have supplanted Delta completely
Update from January 14, 1:10 p.m .: RKI boss Wieler explains that Omicron already accounts for 70 percent of the cases and that the delta will mostly disappear in the next few days. Almost one percent of the population is currently infected with Corona, not including the number of unreported cases. New records for new infections have been reported several times in the past few days. “We know that older people will be increasingly affected,” says Wieler. The proportion of cases in intensive care units is still falling, and deaths have not yet increased. “But that will soon change,” warns Wieler.
As the incidence increases, the numbers become less precise, as the health authorities are reaching their limits and fewer people are having the PCR tested. He is certain that the RKI will continue to be able to monitor the situation well despite the increasing number of cases. The corresponding trends are still recognizable. He again appeals to the unvaccinated to get vaccinated, since most of the severe cases in the intensive care unit are unvaccinated.
“The pure number of cases will be less decisive. It is more important how many people become seriously ill with Covid-19 and how heavily the health system will then be burdened,” said Wieler.
BR Livestream: Recording of the press conference with Lauterbach and Wieler
Omicron wave: Lauterbach cites a hope study – but he still warns against letting the wave go through
Update from January 14, 1 p.m.: The press conference begins. Health Minister Lauterbach reports on the status of the pandemic that we are slowly getting into a situation in which Omikron is becoming dominant. “We can see that the measures we still have here are working.” The contact restrictions in Germany, which in contrast to other countries with omicron waves apply here, extend the doubling time and don’t let the wave grow so quickly.
The measures are there to achieve the federal government’s goal of not getting an omicron wall, but a steep hill. “From what we’ve seen so far, the measures are having the effects that we expected.” Lauterbach now goes into a study from California that shows that Omikron is half as dangerous in terms of hospitalization. However, younger people tend to be involved in such studies. There are many older people in Germany. The studies cannot be transferred one-to-one to Germany. The Minister of Health warns against simply letting the wave pass. The hospitals will still reach their limits.
The booster campaign will continue. He is generally satisfied with the pace, but wants to accelerate it. He explains again the strategy of stretching the wave through the measures and vaccinating as much as possible in order to get through the omicron wave well.
Update from January 14, 12:15 p.m .: Omicron is spreading faster and faster in Germany. The press conference with Health Minister Lauterbach, RKI boss Wieler and virologist Drosten is now eagerly awaited. It starts in less than an hour.
Omicron wave is rolling: press conference with Lauterbach, RKI boss Wieler and even Drosten at noon
First report from January 14, 2022:
Berlin – The Robert Koch Institute only recorded a new number record on Wednesday. For the first time in Germany, more than 80,000 people tested positive for the corona virus * within 24 hours. But less than two days later, on Friday, January 14, 2022, this record was broken again. The incidence has also reached a new high. On Friday, Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, RKI boss Lothar Wieler and virologist Christian Drosten will provide information at the federal press conference.
Corona records broken: press conference with Lauterbach, RKI boss Wieler and Drosten announced
Above all, the Omicron variant is currently causing the numbers in Germany to increase rapidly. In the first calendar week of 2022, according to reporting data from the federal states, 73 percent of the Corona* detections examined for variants were assigned to Omikron. This emerges from the weekly report of the Robert Koch Institute on Thursday evening. According to this data source, Omikron is the predominant corona variant in Germany, writes the RKI. A share of 51 percent is given as a comparison value for the week before. This data takes into account evidence from genetic analysis as well as suspected cases from so-called variant-specific PCR tests.
From 1 p.m. on Friday, Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach and RKI boss Lothar Wieler, together with virologist Christian Drosten, will provide information on the current corona situation in Germany in a joint federal press conference. *Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA
A new US study gives hope. The Omicron variant seems to be actually much milder than Delta. However, there is a but*.
Rubriklistenbild: © Kay Nietfeld