NewsOmikron: In extreme cases, 400,000 to 700,000 new corona...

Omikron: In extreme cases, 400,000 to 700,000 new corona infections per day

The spread of the Omikron variant of the Corona virus in countries such as South Africa, Great Britain and Denmark is also a concern for modelers in this country.

Berlin / Frankfurt – With 88,376 new infections detected within one day, the Corona * case numbers in Great Britain reached a new high on Thursday (December 16, 2021). In Denmark (9,999 cases on Thursday) and South Africa (37,875 new cases on December 12, 2021), the curves soared to new highs this week, for which science blames the omicron variant. A development that also makes scientists in Germany worried.

Experts around the Frankfurt virologist Sandra Ciesek and the Berlin physicist and modeler Dirk Brockmann warned in a video link on Wednesday (December 15, 2021) that politicians should act quickly, preventive action as well as prudent behavior on the part of every individual in order to slow down the spread of the Omikron variant * . Because the new, possibly much more contagious corona variant can no longer be stopped.

Spread of Omikron: Corona data from Great Britain and Denmark indicate a sharp increase

Brockmann, who demanded an emergency plan from politicians on how to react to different scenarios, referred to a report by the news magazine Focus on models that mathematically predict a possible extreme case between 400,000 and 700,000 new infections daily. The calculations were based on data from Great Britain and Denmark.

According to modeling studies, a development for Germany is to be expected as in the two European countries, in which the number of cases has recently skyrocketed. When asked whether a lockdown should be considered, Brockmann said: “You have to think about everything, but not for so long.”

Corona pandemic: How Omikron could affect development

He compared the current development with the situation in spring 2020, when the lockdown ordered by politicians succeeded in breaking the first corona wave. At that time, however, the virus was not as transferable as Omikron is now. “I am relatively pessimistic that with measures you can break the thing like in the first wave,” said Brockmann. But it is important to do everything possible to keep the damage as small as possible.

Christoph Neumann-Haefelin, head of the translational virus immunology working group at the Freiburg University Medical Center, also warned that the omicron variant of the coronavirus could lead to milder courses, according to an initial study, should not be interpreted as a signal of hope in Germany.

The current Omikron situation in Germany

According to the RKI, 112 Omikron cases were detected in Germany by genome sequencing up to December 14th. In 213 other cases there is suspicion based on a specific PCR test. According to the RKI, there had been 28 safely proven infections with the Omikron variant by December 7th.

Booster vaccination against corona as protection against new omicron wave?

Politicians meanwhile are primarily focusing on booster vaccinations *, which are intended to curb the spread of the omicron variant: Although initial data from South Africa indicate that especially those vaccinated who have only received one or two doses of the vaccination, only one have little protection against the Omikron variant. According to many experts, protection against serious illness should also be maintained at Omikron, which is indicated by initial study results.

A vaccination is not a reason not to take additional measures, as Sandra Ciesek, director of the Institute for Medical Virology at the Frankfurt University Hospital, emphasizes. This could include a reduction in contacts and compliance with distance and hygiene standards. “At the moment I have the feeling that the message is: Let yourself be boosted and the world will be good again. It’s not like this.”

Last week, Ciesek presented initial laboratory data that indicate a comparatively weak defense reaction against the strongly mutated variant. The virologist said that people who had had the second vaccination six months ago were barely protected from Omicron infection. Two weeks after a booster, the protection against Omikron has increased again to 58 to 78 percent, depending on the vaccine. In the further course, after about three months, it fell off again, said Ciesek. (ska / dpa) * is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA

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