Status: 01/07/2022 03:27
Mask requirement, school closures, 2G – expert advice has previous corona protection measures
examined and evaluated. The results should serve as the basis for measurements next fall.
Wear masks to the supermarket, to the concert. Contact restrictions, distance learning. The measures to combat the corona pandemic have placed great demands on the citizens. But did they bring much? This is a key question that experts are expected to answer. FDP member of the Bundestag, Andrew Ullmann, finds this very important. “Because it’s an obligation we have to the people,” says Ullmann. “If the state says we have to restrict certain freedoms, then the state has to justify it very precisely.”
The report aims to assess the effects that the corona rules have had – both positive and negative. The FDP, in particular, gave the report a high priority in advance. Whenever the question arose as to which rules and concepts the federal government wanted to prepare for the coming autumn and winter with Corona, the FDP said it wanted to wait for the report first. So high expectations.
The right experts on the committee?
But will the results be so clear? Will they clearly state which measures worked and which did more harm than good? There are doubts about this.
At the end of April, virologist Christian Drosten left the committee. He criticized the poor composition of the expert panel, which included experts in virology and medicine as well as many lawyers.
Drosten said at the time that there was only one epidemiologist dealing with pandemics: “At the first meeting, I warned that it wouldn’t work that way. That epidemiologists should to be appointed to the commission. And it was refused. And that’s where I had serious doubts.”
“We can speak of a data desert”
An epidemiologist, scientist Klaus Stöhr, came for Drosten. He also sees weaknesses, especially when it comes to whether there is enough data for an assessment. “One can speak of a data desert,” says Stöhr. “In fact, good crisis management consists in launching the support assessment at the same time; after two, three, four months, we can say to ourselves: was this measure useful or even counterproductive? But that hasn’t been done in Germany, says Stöhr.
Like the other experts, Stöhr agreed not to disclose the concrete results of the commission. He does not reveal anything beforehand.
Building block or blueprint?
While the FDP is eagerly awaiting the report, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach is already lowering expectations. It’s just one piece of a big puzzle, says the SPD politician. “It’s not uninteresting, we’ve been waiting for this for a long time. But it’s not the canvas of what we’re going to do in the fall, it’s a building block”, specifies the minister.
But especially in negotiations with coalition partner FDP, this cornerstone could be explosive. Regarding the question of whether more extensive corona measures such as an increased mask requirement should be possible again in the fall, the FDP has so far been reluctant. The continuation of the negotiations will also depend on the opinion of the experts.
Holetschek criticizes government slowness
In some federal states there is growing anger that the federal government is taking so long for its new corona concept. Bavarian Health Minister Klaus Holetschek finds the report relevant. Nevertheless: “We will only talk again in September about the core of the Infection Protection Act 28a, which specifies specific measures,” says the CSU politician. “I definitely think it’s too late.”
State health ministers will meet shortly after the report is released. They hope the Infection Protection Act will now speed things up.
Corona experts present reports
Eva Huber, ARD Berlin, July 1, 2022 at 3:27 a.m.