Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) considers the current coronavirus situation to be critical. “The situation is objectively worse than the mood,” he told a news conference in Berlin. There is a general feeling among the population and in politics that Corona is no longer a problem because the omicron variant of the pathogen is not so bad. Lauterbach warns that this is wrong. It is not only dangerous for the unvaccinated. Even vaccinated people could become seriously ill with long-term health consequences. In the medium term, the current sharp increase in the number of infections is also likely to put pressure on hospitals, and the number of deaths from coronavirus could also rise again. The health minister says that between 200 and 250 people die every day. This is an “unsustainable situation”. (11/03/2022)
Advocacy value continues to rise
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reports 252,836 new infections in 24 hours. For the second time in the corona pandemic, more than 250,000 new corona cases were transmitted to the RKI in one day. A new high of more than 260,000 new infections was reported on Wednesday.
The national seven-day incidence rises to 1,439 from 1,388.5 the previous day. It is the ninth consecutive increase. Another 249 people died in relation to the virus. This brings the number of reported deaths to a total of 125,272.
In ten of the 16 federal states, the seven-day incidence of new corona infections has increased in the last week. This comes from the weekly report of the Robert Koch Institute on Thursday night. The reason for the current increase in Covid-19 cases is probably the easier transferability of the BA.2 subtype from omicron and the withdrawal of contact reduction measures. Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach and RKI President Lothar Wieler want to explain the situation on Friday.
“The further course of the pandemic depends largely on how the behavior of the population changes and to what extent possible contacts related to the infection increase,” says the weekly report. A further increase in the number of cases cannot be ruled out.
However, the figures are only of limited importance. Experts assume a large number of cases are not recorded in the RKI data. Testing capacities and health authorities are stretched thin in many places, contacts are only traced to a limited extent. This is why we use the SZ Corona Dashboard to display an average value of the reports from the last seven days, which is intended to compensate for fluctuations from day to day. You can find more information about it on the transparency blog, more data and graphs about the pandemic here. (11/03/2022)
Possibly three times more deaths from Covid worldwide than recorded
The pandemic may have cost significantly more lives around the world than previously thought. According to a recent study, between January 2020 and December 2021, 18.2 million more people died than would have been expected in years without a pandemic. Only 5.9 million corona deaths were officially recorded during this period. “Our results indicate that the full impact of the pandemic was far greater than official statistics suggest,” the international research team led by Haidong Wang of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle writes in the journal. the lancet
According to the models, 120 out of 100,000 people worldwide died as a result of Corona, and the mortality rate in 21 countries was more than 300. The scientists found the highest rates in the Andean countries of Latin America (Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, 512 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants), in Eastern Europe (former European Soviet republics and all of Russia, 345) and Central Europe (from Poland to Albania, 316), and in sub-Saharan Africa (309). However, in some countries such as Iceland or Australia, according to estimates, even fewer people died in the years of the pandemic than would have been statistically expected.
The sometimes large differences between the recorded and actual number of deaths are likely due to underdiagnoses due to lack of testing and problems reporting the numbers. (11/03/2022)
Association of teachers against the abolition of the mask requirement in schools
The German Teachers’ Association warns against abolishing the obligation to wear masks in schools despite the increasing incidence of corona. Instead of opening plans by the federal government, consideration should be given to postponing or even withdrawing relaxation steps, association president Heinz-Peter Meidinger said. Rhine Mail. “As an association of teachers, we expect an even more colorful and rationally difficult to understand mosaic of corona protection in schools in view of the future sole responsibility of the federal states for protective measures in schools.”
The Federal Association of Physicians in the Public Health Service (BVÖGD) is now calling for the occupational vaccination requirement to be extended to include teachers. “If we relax the mask requirement at school, it becomes even more important for adults to be vaccinated,” said Association Vice President Elke Bruns-Philipps. Rhine Mail. “One way would be to extend institutional vaccination requirements to teachers and educators, even though many of them are already vaccinated. Adults can protect themselves and their children by getting vaccinated.”(11/03/2022)
Scientist: This is the sixth corona wave for Germany
Bioinformatician Lars Kaderali from Greifswald sees Germany in a new sixth corona wave. “This is mainly due to the fact that the BA.2 omicron subtype is even more infectious than the original variant,” he told the German Press Agency. In addition, there would be a relaxation of the coronavirus measures. “In combination, both are leading to an ever-increasing number of cases.” (03/09/2022)
Criticism of the new Corona rules
The president of the World Medical Association, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, criticizes the Corona rules that came into force on March 20 as insufficient. “‘Basic protection’ is really just ‘basic protection,’ and of course better than nothing,” Montgomery tells the Funke media group newspapers. The “sensible and far-reaching measures” have been “successfully discussed” by politicians. The principle of hope rules.
The Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann (Greens), considers that it is “grossly negligent if the federal government delivers effective instruments for emergencies without need”. His colleague from Lower Saxony, Stephan Weil (SPD), had said: “You don’t throw away the fire extinguisher if it is still burning.” Bavarian Health Minister Klaus Holetschek (CSU) was also critical. After all, the number of new infections is on the rise again, albeit with a mostly milder course. There are now more than 1,300 new infections per 100,000 population per week.
Bremen Mayor Andreas Bovenschulte (SPD) was a little more positive: “In the current situation, I think it is responsible regulation,” he said. world. “However, if the pandemic situation fundamentally changes in the future and there is a risk that the health system will be overwhelmed across the board, further improvements would need to be made by the federal legislature.” (03/09/2022)
Bill: Corona rules should remain possible
In Germany, the federal states will be able to impose coronavirus rules beyond March 20, especially if the health system is in danger in the region. The federal government has submitted a corresponding draft of the Infection Protection Act.
On the one hand, it establishes that the federal states can generally decide on certain protective measures, as Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) said: a mask requirement in local transport, in clinics or care centers, as well as a requirement testing at these facilities and in schools. The government calls these “ground rules.”
Also, there should only be corona rules at so-called hotspots. According to Lauterbach, these are areas with a high or rapidly rising number of infections and an impending overload of hospitals. This should not be defined more precisely in the law, neither through fixed values of incidence or hospitalization, nor in terms of spatial expansion. “It can be a city or, in extreme cases, an entire country,” Lauterbach said. There, countries can also mandate a mask requirement, hygiene rules, distance rules, or access rules like a 2-G or 3-G rule.
Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann spoke of a “very good compromise.” At the urging of his party, the FDP, the Bundestag decided in late autumn to let almost all corona rules expire on March 20. After that, the number of infections increased rapidly. Lauterbach, on the other hand, has repeatedly warned against running out of corona protection measures in spring. The federal states also required a corresponding legal basis from the federal government.
This should now be finally decided on Friday of next week and, according to Lauterbach, it will apply until September 23. Then a new regulation could be decided before the expected wave of infections in the fall, he said. In a transition phase until April 2, the federal states should also be able to leave their previous Corona regulations in place.(09.03.2022)
Austria suspends mandatory coronavirus vaccination for the time being
The obligation to vaccinate is not proportional to the predominant variant of Omicron, says constitutional minister Karoline Edtstadler of the ÖVP. The basis for the decision is the report of an expert commission. A new decision must be made in three months, explains the new Austrian Health Minister, Johannes Rauch (Greens). After all, it cannot be ruled out that a new variant will put pressure on the health system in the fall.
The vaccination requirement has been in effect since early February. As of March 15, whoever refused would have had to wait for fines of up to 3,600 euros. Austria was a pioneer in the EU with this step. Other countries only had age-specific regulations. The vaccination rate in Austria is around 70 percent. (09.03.2022)