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Researcher warns of delta return – intensive care physician observes "omicron effect" in clinics

The corona pandemic has determined everyday life in Germany for two years. Omikron is currently creating new dimensions in the infection process. The news ticker.

  • Omicron creates new dimensions: the RKI reports a new peak in new infections (see update from January 28, 6:23 a.m.).
  • The hospitals are assuming a high level of exposure to the omicron wave (see update from January 27, 8.35 a.m.).
  • The number of infected students and teachers has risen sharply compared to the previous week (see update from January 28, 9:15 a.m.).
  • This news ticker is updated regularly.

Update from January 28, 4:15 p.m .: The federal government’s goal that 80 percent of the population should be vaccinated against Corona at least once by the end of January is in danger of failing. At least 466,000 doses of vaccine were administered nationwide on Thursday, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on Friday. But only a good 40,000 of them went to people who had not yet been vaccinated. 85,000 were vaccinations that led to full basic protection, and 344,000 were booster vaccinations.

So far, only 75.7 percent of the population have received at least one dose of vaccine. According to the RKI, 73.8 percent have complete basic protection, 52.2 percent have already received a booster vaccination. According to the statistics, 24.3 percent are not vaccinated, a total of 20.2 million people. However, they also include four million children aged up to four years for whom no approved vaccine is yet available.

The federal government had already had to postpone its target of 80 percent first-time vaccinations. Originally, she wanted to reach this quota by January 7th. In order to reach the target now, 4.3 percent of the population would have to be vaccinated by Monday, i.e. more than 3.5 million people. That should be as good as impossible.

Corona in Austria: discussion about the validity of vaccination certificates

Update from January 28, 3:45 p.m .: Austria has shortened the validity of the corona vaccination certificates. In one fell swoop, almost half a million vaccination certificates would be invalid. Internal discussions are now running on the expiry date.

Update from January 28, 3:20 p.m .: In the fight against the corona virus, a new drug should help get the pandemic under control. An expert explains the use of “Sotrovimab”.

Update from January 28, 12.45 p.m .: While the pandemic has picked up an unprecedented pace, the virologist Hendrik Streeck expresses his doubts about general vaccination requirements. However, the expert is confident before spring, but until then everyone will have to limit themselves again.

Update from January 28, 12 p.m.: In view of the rapidly skyrocketing number of new corona infections, intensive care physician Christian Karagiannidis is now observing a clear “omicron effect” in the intensive care units. Although the hospitalization rate is currently still “acceptable”, the high incidences are now also increasingly evident in hospitals, said the scientific director of the Divi intensive care register on Friday in Berlin.

Karagiannidis warned that one must prepare as best as possible for the coming winter. “I’m more afraid of the coming winter than of this one.” But he was “in good spirits” that this would succeed with Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) and RKI boss Lothar Wieler.

Corona in Germany: Incidence in schools is increasing rapidly

Update from January 28, 9.15 a.m .: The corona numbers continue to rise sharply, on Thursday the 200,000 mark for new infections was even cracked for the first time. Also on Friday, January 28, the RKI reported more than 190,000 new infections nationwide. The number of children affected is also increasing significantly in schools. As data from the Conference of Ministers of Education (KMK) show on Thursday, more than 147,000 cases were known among schoolchildren across Germany last week. More than 212,000 others were in quarantine.

In the week before, significantly fewer students were affected, between January 10th and 16th around 73,000 corona infections were registered, 111,000 were therefore in domestic quarantine. At the request of the German Press Agency, a KMK spokesman confirmed a significant increase, but pointed out possible double counting – if, for example, an infection or quarantine extended to both calendar weeks.

The KMK statistics also show a significant increase in the number of infected teachers: While a little more than 5,900 infected teachers were recorded in the week up to January 16, in the calendar week up to January 27 there were already 9,551. For comparison: in the week before Christmas the number was almost 5,300 infected teachers.

The KMK presents figures weekly. The basis is feedback from the federal states from more than 28,000 general education schools and vocational schools with around ten million students. There are a total of around eleven million schoolchildren and around 40,000 schools and vocational schools in Germany.

New incidence high cracked: soon delta on the rise again? researcher warns

Update from January 28, 6:23 a.m .: The incidence in Germany has again broken a record: On Friday morning, January 28, the RKI reports a value of 1073.0 (previous day 1017.4). Within one day, the health authorities nationwide recorded 190,148 new infections, and 170 deaths related to corona were registered within the last 24 hours.

The omicron variant still dominates in Germany. But what happens after that? It is considered quite likely that Corona will continue to develop after the previously known mutations alpha, beta, gamma, delta and omicron.

Corona in Germany: Is it coming back to Omicron Delta?

The President of the Society for Virology, Ralf Bartenschlager, told the DPA that one can only speculate about the properties of new corona variants. “However, experience shows that as a virus adapts to its host, pathogenicity generally decreases.” Pathogenicity means the ability to trigger diseases. “That doesn’t mean that this adapted virus no longer causes disease at all, but it is usually less pathogenic.” Bartenschlager is almost certain of one point, however: the virus will certainly be endemic – and thus “remain with us”.

Richard Neher from the University of Basel, on the other hand, also thinks it is conceivable that the Delta version will come back. “Delta is a highly contagious variant that after some time, when immunity has waned, could have an advantage over omicron again,” he explains in an interview published by the University of Basel.

Corona pandemic in Germany: Researchers warn – “Continue to monitor developments closely”

However, a new variant with unknown properties could also arise. “So we have to continue to monitor the development and emergence of new variants closely so that we discover new variants at an early stage and understand their properties and don’t slip into a new wave unprepared.”

Update from January 27, 10:40 p.m.: What else can Germany expect from the omicron wave of the coronavirus pandemic? Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) and RKI boss Lothar Wieler answer questions. The live ticker for PK on Friday morning (from 10 a.m.).

Corona pandemic in Germany: The gastro curfew falls in Baden-Württemberg

Update from January 27, 9:51 p.m .: In Karlsruhe, Corona walkers do not have to comply with the ban on unannounced Corona demos for the time being. The Karlsruhe Administrative Court has granted an urgent application against the ban in the city. The applicant did not initially have to comply, the court said on Thursday evening.

Just over a month ago, another chamber of the court rejected a similar appeal against the city’s injunction. The judges now said that the starting point had changed. The city itself assumes that scheduled unannounced meetings will take place on Mondays. This puts them in a position to prepare themselves appropriately and to have sufficient police forces available on these days.

It has also been shown that a significant number of participants in the unannounced demonstrations kept the required distances. At least most of them would have followed the announcement of the assembly management and worn a mask and paid attention to the minimum distance. For these reasons, milder means than the preventive ban on unannounced demos could be considered. The city can order that masks be worn at all meetings and that distances must be maintained. The decision is not yet final. The city can appeal to the Administrative Court.

Update from January 27, 7:05 p.m .: In Baden-Württemberg, the curfew in the catering trade falls on Friday. On the border with Bavaria near Ulm, in the Allgäu or on Lake Constance, it shows how fragile the implementation of the corona rules can be in the pandemic.

Update from January 27, 6.30 p.m .: Progress in the pandemic: The French biotechnology company Valneva says it is developing an effective inactivated vaccine against the corona variant Omicron *. In April there could be the first deliveries to Germany.

Corona pandemic in Germany: warning from Health Minister Karl Lauterbach

Update from January 27, 5:56 p.m .: Health Minister Karl Lauterbach warned that the corona pandemic would no longer expect the situation to deteriorate. “In the best case, the virus becomes more harmless and only triggers small and locally limited outbreaks,” he told the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” (Friday edition). But nobody knows whether that will happen. “We have to be prepared for anything.”

Experts had recently predicted an imminent transition from the pandemic to the endemic coronavirus. “Endemic can mean many things,” emphasized Lauterbach. “We can also get into an endemic situation in which a very dangerous variant is dominant, against which we have to continue to protect the weak at great expense.” Nobody can predict how the virus will develop.

Regarding the current corona situation in Germany, Lauterbach said that the sharp increase in the number of infections was within a range that experts from the Robert Koch Institute had previously calculated. “Germany is currently having significantly lower case numbers than other European countries.”

“Then you also have to shorten the vaccination certificate” – is Germany coming up with the next Lauterbach change?

Update from January 27, 2:50 p.m .: The immunologist Carsten Watzl has spoken out in favor of treating those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered on an equal footing. The fact that vaccinated people are considered immune longer than people who have survived a corona infection is “incomprehensible,” said the Secretary General of the German Society for Immunology of the dpa. In mid-January, the Ministry of Health shortened the recovered status from six to three months, citing a determination by the RKI.

Watzl does not believe that the situation has changed significantly as a result of Omikron. “Studies show that many antibodies from those who have recovered can no longer recognize the omicron variant so well, and that these people hardly have any protection against infection,” says the immunologist. “But this change also applies to vaccinated people. If you shorten the recovered status, you actually have to do the same for the vaccination certificates. ”After an infection, it is very advisable to get vaccinated anyway. Such a “hybrid immunity” is “the best protection that science currently knows,” Watzl explained.

Corona: Lauterbach wants to enforce a three-month convalescent status in the EU

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) is still convinced of the three-month recovered status. And not only that: “We will soon try again to implement the three months at European level,” he said on Wednesday (January 26) on ZDF’s “heute journal”. “After three months, someone who was already infected with the delta variant can become infected again with the omicron variant. So the three months are scientifically correct,” says Lauterbach.

On Tuesday (January 25), the EU states agreed that travelers can move freely within the Union without further restrictions if they present valid proof of vaccination, test or recovery. The recovered status is valid for 180 days, i.e. six months.

Corona in Germany: Vaccination speed decreases sharply

Update from January 27, 12.30 p.m .: The corona numbers have reached a new absolute high, for the first time the RKI reported more than 200,000 new infections per day (see first report from January 27). At the same time, however, the pace of vaccination in Germany is falling sharply. More than half of the population has received a booster vaccination against the coronavirus. At least 43 million people (51.7 percent) have now been boosted, the Robert Koch Institute announced on Thursday.

In Germany, however, only around 458,000 vaccinations against the corona virus were administered on Wednesday. At least 75.6 percent of the population (62.9 million people) have been vaccinated once. The federal government is aiming for 80 percent of those who have been vaccinated for the first time by the end of January. The goal seems increasingly unrealistic.

Currently, 24.4 percent of the population (20.3 million people) are not vaccinated. For 4.8 percent (four million) of these people aged 0 to 4 years there is no approved vaccine available.

Update from January 27, 9.45 a.m .: A look at the current corona strategies in seven selected European countries shows how differently Omikron is approached there.

Update from January 27, 8.35 a.m .: In view of the high number of infections, the hospitals are preparing for numerous new patients. The current number of 200,000 newly infected within one day will only have an effect in the clinics in seven to ten days, said Gerald Gass on Thursday in the ZDF “Morgenmagazin”.

Corona in Germany: Hospitals are preparing for many patients

“This means that we will also experience a high level of dynamic new arrivals in the hospitals in the coming days and probably weeks,” said the chairman of the German Hospital Association. In addition, staff are absent due to their own infections. “That puts a strain on the hospitals.” Because of the staff shortages, half of the hospitals reported restrictions on occupancy last week. “At the moment, however, it is not the case that the supply is at risk,” says Gass.

In previous corona waves, the overloading of the intensive care units had led to operations on other patients having to be cancelled. With a view to the somewhat milder course of the disease at Omikron, Gaß stated: “We don’t seem to have this situation in front of us at the moment. But of course: The high occupancy on the normal wards also puts a strain on the staff and ultimately also on the hospital as a whole.”

Corona in Germany: more than 200,000 new infections for the first time

First report from January 27th: Berlin – It was exactly two years ago that the first Corona * case was confirmed in Germany. There are now more than 200,000 new infections – every day. On Thursday morning (January 27), the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported another record value. 203,136 new corona cases were transmitted within one day, more than ever before.

The nationwide seven-day incidence* is also at an all-time high of 1017.4. For comparison: the day before the value was 940.6. A week ago, the incidence was 638.8 (previous month: 222.7).

Corona in Germany: medical practices “at the limit” – “quarantine is becoming a problem”

The highly infectious omicron variant, which usually leads to a milder course of the disease, has caused the number of infections * to explode in recent weeks. This is now also leading to staff shortages in medical care. “The more the incidences rise, the more practices will have to close temporarily due to illness,” said the national chairman of the German Association of General Practitioners, Ulrich Weigeldt, to the newspapers of the Funke media group . Many practices are already “at the limit”.

The head of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, Andreas Gassen, also emphasized in the Funke newspapers that medical staff could become scarce. “The quarantine will become a problem in the coming weeks,” he said. “If half the staff in the hospital has to stay at home because they are in quarantine, even a normal volume is difficult to cope with. The same applies to practices – doctors and medical specialists can also become infected and have to be quarantined, so staff will also be scarce there,” Gassen continued.

Lothar Wieler (l-r), Präsident Robert Koch-Institut (RKI), Karl Lauterbach (SPD), Bundesminister für Gesundheit, und Andreas Gassen, Vorstandsvorsitzender der Kassenärztlichen Bundesvereinigung (KBV), stehen nach einer Pressekonferenz zur aktuellen Corona-Lage zusammen.

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Kassenärzte boss Andreas Gassen (right) fears problems from the quarantine.

Corona in Germany: Two years after the first case

On January 27, 2020, the corona virus was confirmed in Germany for the first time in a man from Bavaria. Since then, the RKI has registered 9,238,931 cases. A total of 117,314 people died from or were involved in a corona infection*. Vaccinations against the coronavirus have been carried out since the end of December 2020. A good three quarters of the population in Germany have received at least one dose so far, only slightly fewer have full basic protection and a good half have a booster vaccination. (ph with dpa) *Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA

Rubriklistenbild: © Christian Charisius/dpa

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