Before the next decision on the corona requirements in spring, SPD leader Saskia Esken is in favor of adequate basic protection with masks in stores. “Spring is coming, but apparently Corona is staying with us,” says Esken of the German Press Agency. “In the new Infection Protection Act, we therefore need adequate basic protection that applies equally everywhere,” the SPD leader said. “This includes masks and 3G in local and long-distance public transport, as well as masks in retail. Countries must be able to react to local infection events with broader measures.”
On Wednesday, changes to the Infection Protection Act will be discussed in the Bundestag at first reading; most corona requirements nationwide will be lifted before March 20. Only two days later, the plenary session will decide on the corresponding project of the Minister of Health, Karl Lauterbach, and the Minister of Justice, Marco Buschmann (FDP). Lauterbach and Buschmann propose a significantly reduced basic protection for all of Germany. However, the federal states should be able to decide on further corona requirements for hotspots to be declared.
According to Esken, all caution should not be lost – “if we do not want to be forced to restrict trade, gastronomy, services and culture again next autumn, if we do not want lessons in schools and the economy to be interrupted by mass quarantines and diseases are significantly affected”. A much higher vaccination rate is also needed. She is convinced “that we will only be able to achieve a sufficient quota through the general vaccination of all adults.” (03/14/2022)
The value of incidence at the national level continues to increase
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reports 92,378 new infections in 24 hours. Overall, the number of confirmed infections in Germany exceeds 17.2 million. The seven-day incidence nationwide rises to 1,543 from 1,526 the day before. Another 19 people died in connection with the virus. This brings the number of reported deaths to 125,590.
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. (03/14/2022)
The obligation to provide evidence ends almost everywhere in France
France is abolishing corona access restrictions almost everywhere this Monday. Proof of vaccination, recovery, or a negative test is only required when visiting nursing homes, health centers, and facilities for people with disabilities. In addition, masks are no longer necessary almost everywhere: protection should only be worn on local and long-distance public transport.
A kind of 2-G rule has been in force in France since mid-January, for example to be able to visit sports facilities, museums, cinemas or restaurants. Two weeks ago, the government already lifted the mask requirement for numerous places with restricted access.
At the beginning of the year, the number of infections in the country of 65 million people had reached record levels. The seven-day incidence, that is, the number of new infections per 100,000 population in one week, was around 3,800. More recently, the value was just over 600.
Faced with a resurgence in figures, Prime Minister Jean Castex recommended in the newspaper the parisian The elderly and people with pre-existing conditions continue to wear a mask indoors and in gatherings. He also announced that people over the age of 80 can now receive a fourth dose of the corona vaccine if the third vaccination was more than three months ago. (03/14/2022)
Corona numbers in China are rising rapidly
In the worst corona wave in China since the start of the pandemic more than two years ago, the number of infections continues to skyrocket. The Health Commission reported a daily record of more than 3,100 cases in 19 regions on Sunday. The authorities are reacting with mass testing, transport restrictions, curfews, and the closure of schools and universities. Makeshift hospitals with thousands of beds have begun to be built in various cities to isolate those infected. Three weeks ago, only a few dozen infections per day were reported.
The 26 million inhabitants of Shanghai and the nine million of Qingdao were asked not to leave the port metropolises as much as possible. Anyone who still has to travel absolutely must present a negative corona test from the last 48 hours, similar to all travelers upon arrival. A lockdown was already imposed on the nine million-strong metropolis of Changchun in the northeast on Friday. Only one person per household can leave the apartment every other day to go shopping. In the south, in Guangdong province, the megacities of Dongguan and Shenzhen are also affected.
The recent corona wave caused by the rapidly spreading omicron variant is the biggest challenge to the strict zero-Covid strategy of the most populous country. After the outbreak of the pandemic in Wuhan, in central China, where the first infections were discovered worldwide in late 2019, the authorities brought the infections under control in the spring of 2020 with radical measures. The country was also isolated.
Anyone allowed to enter the country must quarantine for three weeks. Life and the economy largely returned to normal. Outbreaks have been limited, most of which have been successfully responded to with lockdowns, mass testing and quarantine. Among the new cases reported on Sunday, 1,315 were asymptomatic. The experts explained it with the omicron variant, in which the infections also progressed without major symptoms. (03/12/2022)
The government wants to relax corona protection regulations in companies
Despite the growing number of infections, in a week from the beginning of spring, looser corona rules should apply at companies in Germany. The draft regulation of the Federal Ministry of Labor establishes that the employers themselves must assess the risk of the virus and define the appropriate measures in a concept of business hygiene. The draft is available to the German Press Agency.
Employers should also take regional infection rates into account. According to the draft, they must then check whether they offer employees one corona test per week, whether they provide protective masks, and whether employees must work in the office from home. In future, companies will also have to decide for themselves on protective measures such as distancing and hygiene rules or the obligation to wear a mask.
Until March 19 inclusive, employers are still required to offer tests at their companies at least twice a week. Where other measures do not provide sufficient protection, there is currently also a mask requirement. In addition to these regulations, the company’s 3-G regulation applies, according to which employees must carry proof of vaccinations, convalescence or test certificates. The home office is mandatory if the type of work allows it. The new regulation is expected to be approved in the cabinet on Wednesday. (03/12/2022)
Thousands of people demonstrate in the Southwest against coronavirus measures
In several cities in the southwest, thousands of people gathered again on Saturday for demonstrations against the corona measures. In Crailsheim (Schwäbisch Hall district), according to a police spokesman, about 1,700 people took to the streets in the early afternoon; about 5,000 people were registered. In Kehl, the participants set out from the train station under the slogan “Freedom or Slavery” and walked through the city. A police spokesman was initially unable to say how many people were demonstrating. According to the information, there were no incidents.
As on Saturdays in the previous weeks, many opponents of the Corona measures also gathered in Freiburg; exactly how many should not be known until tonight. The number of around 2,000 registered people will probably not be reached, a police spokesman said. Around 4 pm, a lift with around 7,000 registered participants should start in Reutlingen. (03/12/2022)
Lauterbach wants to cancel special corona payments for panel doctors
Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) apparently wants the special corona regulations for panel doctors to be abolished. This arises from a letter from the minister to the National Association of Doctors of Compulsory Medical Insurance dated March 3, reports the image. The letter says: “Given the stable situation in intensive care units, the health system is currently no longer expected to be overburdened.” Special payments for, for example, additional protective equipment or the operation of the Corona hotline should therefore be phased out. Lauterbach also points to a significantly softer course at Omicron. (03/12/2022)