The corona incidence in Germany is increasing. But current data on the Omikron variant give hope for a milder course. Karl Lauterbach is also optimistic.
Kassel – 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 on Saturday for the third day in a row. The value was 220.3 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants and week, with the RKI assuming under-recording 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)
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