Accompanied by criticism from the federal states and doctors, the Bundestag will deal on Wednesday afternoon with the traffic light coalition’s plans for future corona protection measures. As of March 20, a federal government draft provides only a few general mask protection rules and facility testing specifications for at-risk groups.
However, further restrictions should be possible for regional “hotspots” if the state parliament determines that the situation is particularly critical for them. In view of the increasing number of infections, more general protection standards are called for.
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The draft will be decided this Friday. On Thursday, the prime ministers want to discuss the situation with Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD). Most countries want to continue applying most of the requirements, initially until the end of a transition period on April 2.
Corona incidence reaches new high
The FDP, in particular, had pushed for easing. Politicians from the SPD and the Greens have once again made it clear that they are not satisfied with the coalition’s compromise. “We would have liked the possibility of a general mask requirement in the basic protection toolbox,” SPD parliamentary group leader Dagmar Schmidt told the “t-online” news portal. “Then countries would have been able to apply them more easily when and where they deemed it necessary.”
The Greens’ health expert Janosch Dahmen tells the “Passauer Neue Presse” that there is currently little reason to speak of widespread relaxation. “We’re obviously not over the hill in this omicron wave,” Dahmen cautioned.
Meanwhile, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported another high for the national incidence of seven days. The RKI gave the value of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants and week on Wednesday morning at 1607.1. For comparison: the day before the value was 1585.4. A week ago, the national incidence was 1,319.0 (previous month: 1,401.0). The German health authorities informed the RKI of 262,593 new corona infections in one day.
Söder criticizes that the federal government does it alone
The board of directors of the German Foundation for Patient Protection accused the traffic light coalition of a “political disclosure oath” regarding future corona protection rules. Against their best knowledge, MPs from the SPD and the Greens wanted to accept an amendment to the law that offered little protection against the pandemic, said Eugen Brysch, a board member at the German Press Agency.
“The smallest coalition partner should not simply dictate vital decisions. Otherwise the tail will wag the dog,” criticized Brysch, looking at the FDP. He also warned of a “wobbly hotspot regulation” that would not stand up to any court.
Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder made serious accusations against the coalition. With the planned change in infection protection laws immediately before the federal-state conference, the CSU leader told the “Augsburger Allgemeine” that they had ended their cooperation with the federal states.
“Unfortunately, due to Corona, there is no longer a need for a prime ministers’ conference,” said Söder. “The new draft is massively criticized by many states, so the responsibility now lies solely with the federal government,” the CSU leader emphasized.
The medical association fears the “mosaic” in the measures of the crown
Criticism of the government project also comes from doctors. The president of the German Medical Association, Klaus Reinhardt, criticized that only examples are given of when the federal states can adopt stricter measures. This “will inevitably lead to a national patchwork of different regional regulations. This unnecessarily disturbs the population,” Reinhardt complained in the “Rheinische Post”.
The president of the German Hospital Society, Gerald Gaß, told the newspapers of the Funke media group: “The planned regulation of hotspots can be an effective and specific instrument. However, this regulation must be clear and plannable, including the criteria presented here by the legislator.
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Gass called for the mask requirement to be maintained “in places with high risk of infection.” As examples, she cited local public transportation, retail, or places with vulnerable groups. The director of the Marburger Bund doctors’ union, Susanne Johna, also called for masks to continue to be prescribed in retail and indoor areas.
“Particularly in view of the increasing incidences, it would be reasonable to keep this measure effective until the infection process really weakens due to the seasonal effect that occurs,” said Johna of the “Augsburger Allgemeine”. Patient advocate Brysch also called for a mask requirement that goes beyond passenger traffic. (dpa)