What can Germany expect from the omicron wave of the corona pandemic? Health Minister Lauterbach and RKI boss Wieler answered questions. The live ticker for PK on Friday.
- PK to Corona and Omikron*: Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) and RKI boss Lothar Wieler answer questions in Berlin.
- Lauterbach criticizes the Robert Koch Institute* before the joint meeting ( see update from January 28, 8:26 a.m.). At the federal press conference on Friday morning , however, he weighs it down ( see update from January 28, 11:17 a.m.).
- Lauterbach and Wieler are cautiously optimistic about the corona situation. “The omicron wave is well under control,” according to the Minister of Health ( see update from January 28, 10:03 a.m.)
Update from January 29, 9:17 a.m .: Abandoning the incidence and returning to the old hospital traffic light? This is what Bavaria’s Prime Minister Söder is now demanding: This traffic light must take into account the corona share in the occupancy of the hospitals and a possible overload of the nursing staff. It is important: “We need to know how many people come to the hospital solely because of Corona – and how many only with Corona.” Earlier on Friday, the President of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Lothar Wieler, explained that in In this pandemic phase, the pure number of cases is no longer decisive. “We now have to look primarily at the burden of the disease and the severity of the disease,” he said.
Since the seven-day incidence in the current omicron wave, which has been the focus so far, is also losing its warning effect due to a lack of test options, “we need a new evaluation system that should be based on the occupancy of the hospital beds,” said the CSU boss the world on sunday . “This is the only way we can find out whether the health system remains stable – or whether there is a risk of overload.” Söder added: “The federal government is required to get a functioning and meaningful hospital traffic light on the way.” Criticism followed immediately from the SPD State leaders Weil and Tschentscher: The latter said that the Hanseatic city had “always based its decisions on the specific regional pandemic situation, which results from numerous different factors as an overall picture”. Weil went even further: “Corona policy should strive for reliability and not unsettle citizens with changing standards.”
Update from January 28, 11:17 a.m .: At the federal press conference on the current Corona situation, Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach* assessed the situation in Germany with cautious optimism. “We currently have the omicron wave well under control,” said the SPD politician. However, one is “still before the zenith” of the wave.
RKI boss Wieler praised the discipline of the German population with regard to contact restrictions in everyday life. “The number of cases continues to rise massively. But not nearly as violent as it would be possible under Omicron,” he said. Now the main focus must be “on the burden of the disease and the severity of the disease”. The low incidence in the vulnerable groups is also positive.
Lauterbach also commented on recent disagreements between him and Wieler. After the RKI shortened the recovered status “overnight”, as the minister described it in the FAZ , Lauterbach complained. He was “not informed” about it. In the press conference with Wieler, on the other hand, he tried to calm things down. And called the process a “communication problem”. The RKI boss has meanwhile refrained from making his own statement.
Corona PK from Lauterbach and Wieler to read in the ticker
11.15 a.m .: The last question from the journalists has been asked. The federal press conference on the Corona situation with Health Minister Lauterbach and RKI boss Wieler has ended.
11.05 a.m .: A press representative wants to know again whether the RKI and the Federal Ministry of Health are still working together harmoniously. The process around the shortened convalescent status comes up again. “Mr. Wieler did not act on his own authority,” confirms Lauterbach. There was only a “communication problem”. As before, the RKI boss does not comment on the process himself.
10:58 a.m .: Lauterbach now explains why it is not worth waiting for a special Omicron vaccine for the booster vaccination. Lauterbach points out that the vaccines that Biontech/Pfizer and Moderna are already working on are not expected until May. However, since people “now” need vaccination protection against omicron, vaccination with the existing vaccines is the better alternative. “The Omicron vaccine is coming. But it is no longer worth it if it comes at a time when the omicron wave has ended.”
Corona-PK in the live ticker: Lauterbach speaks of a “communication problem” with Wieler
10.51 a.m .: Most recently, the RKI caused trouble with the uncommented change in the recovered status. Lauterbach described the quick implementation of the institute’s heave-off action (“overnight”) as unsolicited. Has this put a strain on his relationship with RKI boss Wieler? “First of all, you have to put the question of content in the foreground: Does that make sense?” says Lauterbach. This is the case, he basically agrees with the RKI boss. “In terms of content, we had an exchange at the technical level, there was no dissent between our house and the RKI.”
He knew that the status would be changed. “I was asked, ‘When will the recovered status be changed?’ not included,” adds Lauterbach. “I expected that to happen later. If I had known, I would of course have communicated it to the Federal Council on Friday. There was just a communication problem.” Lauterbach says he considers such a process “justifiable”.
10.43 a.m .: Lauterbach found the vaccination debate in the Bundestag and outside it to be “of high quality”. He adds that even FDP politician Wolfgang Kubicki – despite all the criticism of compulsory vaccination – is basically a supporter of the corona vaccination itself.
Corona-PK in the live ticker: Lauterbach is “not the minister, but the scientist” on one question
10:36 a.m .: A journalist asks the Minister of Health for the opinion of the recent school closures in Berlin. “School policy is largely state policy,” says Lauterbach. You only give tips and make sure that the omicron wave doesn’t get out of hand. Ultimately, this also helps the schools.
10:29 a.m .: A press representative now asks Lauterbach how he classifies the sometimes conflicting rules of the individual federal states. The minister replies that you have to look at the respective figures. “I always have to put the objective in the foreground. Are we on the right path?” According to Lauterbach, he was “still not the minister, but the scientist”. “Who is still before the zenith of the wave,” he continues and criticizes the easing of other countries, such as Denmark.
Corona-PK in the live ticker: Intensive care physician Karagiannidis explains the new drug Sotrovimab
10:27 a.m .: “Since this week we have not only had active immunization with the vaccines, but also passive immunization,” says Karagiannidis. “The drug Sotrovimab, which has been delivered across the board, is now also available against the omicron variant,” explains Karagiannidis. The receipt of the drug “is remarkable because it is sold out in America and is actually no longer available,” continues the expert. Sotrovimab was made available by the Ministry of Health. “It’s especially good for unvaccinated at-risk patients or at-risk patients who are suspected of not responding to the vaccine,” explains Karagiannidis. A sufficient quantity of the drug, which is administered “via the vein”, is available nationwide.
10:22 a.m .: Now the journalists can ask their questions. First of all, it is about the future prioritization of the PCR tests. “We are in coordination with the federal states,” replies Lauterbach. In the next few weeks, a proposal will be put forward together with the countries. Lauterbach adds that absolute priority for tests should be given to employees of hospitals and nursing homes as well as seriously ill people. “If you use the antigen tests wisely, you can control the omicron wave well,” says the health minister.
10.18 a.m .: There are still “more than 2,000 Covid patients in the intensive care units,” says Karagiannidis. The proportion of patients affected by the delta variant is falling. Delta is “certainly the worst virus we have seen in pulmonary medicine and in intensive care units in the last 20 years,” says the intensive care doctor. However, Omikron is also letting the number of corona diseases rise again. This could increase the “burden of sickness” in the intensive care units again in the future.
Corona-PK in the live ticker: Wieler wants to keep a “cool head”.
10.15 a.m .: “Even if the proportion of infections caused by Omicron with severe courses is lower than with Delta, we have to expect more hospital admissions simply because of the sheer number of infected people,” warns Wieler. Due to the high number of cases, the “vulnerable groups” in particular have to be protected. Vaccinations also provide good protection at Omikron, which means that critical infrastructures are also protected. “The sea is stormy and visibility is poor,” Wieler tries to use a metaphor. But now it is important to keep a “cool head”. This is how you will get through the pandemic.
10.11 a.m .: Now RKI boss Wieler speaks. “The number of cases continues to rise massively. But not nearly as violent as it would be possible under Omicron,” he says. 890,000 people had been infected within the last seven days. So almost one percent of the population. “We now have to look primarily at the burden of the disease and the severity of the disease.” In this way, the work of clinics can be ensured.
Corona-PK in the live ticker: Lauterbach appeals to unvaccinated people
10.08 a.m .: Lauterbach appeals to all people who have not yet been able to get a corona vaccination. “Don’t wait for vaccines that are still in the trial phase,” he pleads with the undecided. The currently available vaccines from Biontech/Pfizer and Moderna are absolutely trustworthy and effective.
10.03 a.m .: The Minister of Health is the first of the trio to speak. “We currently have the omicron wave well under control in Germany,” he says. “We want to get through this wave with as few seriously ill and dead people as possible.” However, compared to other countries such as Great Britain or Italy, there is a lower vaccination rate among older, particularly vulnerable people. However, the incidence there is relatively low at 200 to 300.
10:00 a.m.: Lauterbach, Wieler and Karagiannidis now step onto the podium. The press conference starts.
9.49 a.m .: The press conference on the current corona situation will start in a few minutes with Health Minister Lauterbach, RKI boss Wieler and Christian Karagiannidis from the Faculty of Health at the University of Witten/Herdecke.
Corona-PK in the live ticker: Lauterbach and Wieler answer questions from the press
Update from January 28, 8:26 a.m .: This Friday, Minister of Health Lauterbach (SPD) informed at the federal press conference together with RKI boss Wieler about the current situation of the corona pandemic. But in the run-up to the press conference, the mood is extremely tense. Not only was there Zoff between Lauterbach and Wieler (see original message) , at the same time there was more and more criticism of the Minister of Health.
Before the federal press conference: sharp criticism of Lauterbach’s corona policy
The Mayor of Tübingen, Boris Palmer (Greens*), for example, criticizes the SPD* politician’s corona policy extremely sharply: “At the moment, many decisions are quite erratic. There is no scientific evidence to limit the recovered status to just three months. Karl Lauterbach otherwise attaches great importance to them,” he said in the podcast “Die Wochentester” from Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger and RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland. “When I read that, I thought it was a Russian fake bot.” Lauterbach insists, however, that the change makes sense from a scientific point of view.
Corona-PK in the live ticker: Criticism of the test strategy – “Think through the consequences to the end
However, Lauterbach also received criticism for the nationwide test strategy*. The SPD politician would like to set priorities here, especially with PCR tests. Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder* (CSU*) had already warned that the prioritization should not lead to a blind flight in which the incidence figures would lose their meaningfulness. Holetschek sees the Federal Health Minister Lauterbach as responsible here. “Anyone who makes laws must also think through the consequences and effects to the end,” he says.
You can follow the upcoming federal press conference live here from 10 a.m.
Original message from January 27: Munich / Berlin – Recently there was trouble between the years in the coronavirus pandemic * around the Robert Koch Institute and RKI boss Lothar Wieler. His authority had sent a tweet in which, shortly before one of the countless federal-state rounds, quick and rigorous measures to contain the omicron wave * were required. At that time, Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) demonstratively supported Wieler.
The Rhinelander did this at the so-called federal press conference, an association in Berlin that enables capital city journalists to question government officials and other important decision-makers on pressing issues. This Friday (January 28) Lauterbach and Wieler will meet again from 10 a.m. at this federal press conference in the government district. And again there is Zoff. The RKI had recently apparently uncoordinatedly reduced the status of those who had recovered from a corona infection from six to three months. But it was above all the department head Lauterbach who received the political rebuke.
Federal press conference: Corona-PK with Karl Lauterbach and Lothar Wieler in the live ticker
Now there was the tit for tat. “I was not aware that the recovered status beyond the quarantine rules was reduced to three months almost overnight,” explained the SPD man to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . However, he agrees with the technical assessment of the RKI.
His ministry also told FOCUS Online : “It was clear that those who had recovered would only be exempted from quarantine for three months. This was the subject of consultations between the federal and state governments. But that the recovered status then on Saturday, 15.1. was changed overall was not known to the minister (when he gave his speech in the Bundesrat).”
On top of that. Lauterbach’s Ministry of Health made it clear: “In future, such decisions should no longer be published overnight by the RKI, but should be communicated to the federal states with a certain amount of advance notice.” Clear announcement in the direction of the Robert Koch Institute and Wieler. (kh/pm) * Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA
List of rubrics: © Wolfgang Kumm/dpa