The virologist Christian Drosten sees a “chance” in the milder omicron variant of the corona virus and gives hope for a life like before the pandemic. When asked whether “we will ever live like we did before the pandemic,” the scientist from the Berlin Charité said Daily mirror on Sunday: “Yes, absolutely. I’m absolutely sure of that.” Masks would have to be worn in certain situations for a few more years. But there will also be “a few benefits”: The virus has advanced medicine. “The mRNA technology is a huge breakthrough, also for cancer and for other infectious diseases, just think of influenza.”
According to Drosten, all people will sooner or later be infected with Sars-Cov-2. “In the long term, we cannot maintain the immune protection of the entire population with a booster vaccination every few months,” says the virologist. The virus must spread, “but on the basis of vaccination protection anchored in the general population” – otherwise “too many people would die”. There is a good chance that Germany will be able to end the pandemic in 2022. Next winter, however, he expects another sharp increase in the incidence, which will also make it necessary to wear a mask indoors.
Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach spoke in the picture on sunday however less optimistic. With a view to the currently falling numbers of Covid 19 patients in hospitals, especially in intensive care units, he warned against feeling safe. “We are threatened with very difficult weeks in Germany,” said the SPD politician picture on sunday. At the moment, it is mainly the younger people with many contacts who are ill. But as soon as the elderly become infected, the number of hospital admissions will increase again. Then the space in the intensive care units and in the normal wards could become scarce. (16.01.2022)
Incidence rises to 515.7
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reports 52,504 new corona infections. That is 15,952 more cases than on Sunday a week ago, when 36,552 positive tests were reported. The nationwide seven-day incidence hits a new high, rising to 515.7 from 497.1 the previous day. The value indicates how many people per 100,000 inhabitants have contracted the corona virus in the past seven days. 47 people died in connection with the virus. This increases the number of reported deaths to 115,619. So far, more than 7.9 million corona tests have been positive in Germany. (16.01.2022)
Schulze: Africa no rest ramp for expired vaccines
Development Minister Svenja Schulze criticizes the unequal distribution of corona vaccinations worldwide. “In Europe, the vaccination rate is 70 percent, on the African continent less than ten percent,” said the SPD politician of the Funke media group. The pandemic can only be defeated if the whole world is vaccinated. “If this doesn’t succeed, we go into an endless loop with more and more new mutations,” said Schulze.
At the same time, she criticized the fact that vaccines that are about to expire are being donated. “It has nothing to do with treating each other with respect. Africa is not the rest ramp for expired vaccines,” she said. Developing countries also need deliveries that can be planned in order to be able to vaccinate the vaccines. That is why she wants to use the German G7 presidency to provide the international vaccine program Covax with the necessary funds for 2022. Unfortunately, so far too few countries have contributed to the financing. (16.01.2022)
Majority for compulsory vaccination
A clear majority of people in Germany would support compulsory vaccination. This comes from a representative survey with 1004 respondents by the opinion research institute INSA for the picture on sunday out. According to the report, 60 percent support compulsory vaccination, while 33 percent oppose it. 71 percent also believed that the federal government did not give a clear direction in corona policy. The opposite believed 23 percent. 61 percent of those surveyed said that Olaf Scholz did not show enough leadership in Corona politics, 26 percent believed the opposite. (16.01.2022)
More Covid patients on normal wards
The German clinics are already feeling the first effects of the omicron wave through more patient admissions with Covid diseases on the normal wards. “We are already seeing this increase in the normal wards in some regions, for example in Bremen, Berlin, Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein,” says the President of the German Hospital Society (DKG), Gerald Gass, who Augsburg General.
If the models come true, one must expect more than 100,000 infected people per day very soon. Many of them would have to be hospitalized. But because of the highly contagious omicron variant, there will be more staff shortages in the clinics. He therefore appeals to general practitioners and specialists to treat patients who do not necessarily have to be treated in hospital as outpatients as far as possible. (16.01.2022)
The President of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution sees a new scene of enemies of the state
The President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Thomas Haldenwang, recognizes a new scene of enemies of the state among the demonstrators against the Corona policy. These could no longer be clearly assigned to previous categories such as right-wing or left-wing extremism, said Haldenwang Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper. They are not connected by ideological brackets, but by contempt for the democratic constitutional state and its representatives.
The pandemic is only the hook, one conceivable topic among many: “Whether it’s Corona or refugee policy. Or the flood disaster: You saw some of the same people trying to give the impression that the state was failing and don’t do anything for the people,” said Haldenwang. Haldenwang fears that in the future the extremists could possibly look for measures to combat climate change as a topic.
It’s not yet possible to reliably say how big the scene is because it’s extremely heterogeneous. For a long time it looked as if right-wing extremists were trying unsuccessfully to shape the demonstration, but that is currently changing. In Saxony, for example, the right-wing extremist micro-party “Freie Sachsen” managed to exert a significant influence on the multifaceted protest movement in the region. The dynamics of the protests are changing. In the past, there were mainly large demonstrations. Now things are more decentralized and more people are taking to the streets. In the first week of January alone, there were more than 1,000 events with more than 200,000 people in one day. “It is noticeable that the police are increasingly coming into focus as an enemy. Emergency services are increasingly being attacked not only during the protests, but also in virtual space and defamed, for example, as “mercenaries” or “murderers of the system”, says Haldenwang. (15.01.2022)
More than half a million French people are at risk of losing their vaccination certificate
In France, new rules apply to proof of vaccination in the health passport. If you were vaccinated seven months or more ago, a booster is required from this Saturday to continue to be considered vaccinated. According to the Ministry of Health, around 560,000 people are at risk of losing their vaccination status. The stricter rules have been in effect for people over 65 since mid-December. The health card complies with the 3G rule and must be shown in France to get into bars or theatres, for example.
In the fight against the fifth wave of corona, the French government wants to provide further incentives for vaccination. She also wanted to adjust the access regulations in mid-January and deny the unvaccinated access to cultural institutions, restaurants and long-distance trains. However, the bill has not yet passed Parliament. It could then finally be adopted on Sunday.
The number of infections has skyrocketed in France in recent weeks. Omicron now accounts for two-thirds of the cases sequenced. Most recently, the authorities reported around 329,000 infections within one day. The number of infections registered per 100,000 people within a week was around 2829 nationwide.15.01.2022)
Expert demands new test strategy
Andreas Gassen, head of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV), is convinced that there must be significant changes in the testing process in connection with the corona pandemic and that one should concentrate on symptomatic cases. “There will be a focus on providing people with PCR tests that may be released from quarantine,” said Gassen on the Phoenix television station.
The number of infections is already “significantly higher” than the number communicated by the RKI, because many infections are no longer noticed. “We have been subject to a certain control illusion for months,” said the KBV CEO. You only have a complete overview of the pandemic in a few areas, such as hospital admissions and people who have to be treated in intensive care units. (14.01.2022)
First vaccinations with Novavax in February
In Germany, the first people are to be immunized against the corona virus with a so-called dead vaccine in five weeks. Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) announced that the company Novavax would deliver the first 1.75 million doses to Germany on February 21. The Novavax vaccine has only been approved in the EU for three weeks. Unlike the other four approved vaccines against the coronavirus, it is not a vector or mRNA vaccine, but is classified as an inactivated vaccine. The Novavax vaccine will “also be recommended” and made available in particular to those “who prefer this type of vaccination,” said Lauterbach. Another 3.25 million doses have been purchased. When these would be delivered is still unclear – but he hopes for the last week of February. (14.01.2022)
Austria becomes a high-risk area again
The federal government has again classified neighboring Austria as a high-risk area from Sunday due to the high number of corona infections. Exceptions to this are the communities of Mittelberg and Jungholz as well as the Rißtal in the Karwendel with the village of Hinterriß. This was announced by the Robert Koch Institute.
As of Sunday, all nine of Germany’s neighboring countries are on the risk list. Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands have long been designated as high-risk areas. In addition to Austria, more than 30 other countries are on the list, many of them in Africa and the Caribbean. In total, almost 140 of the approximately 200 countries in the world will be on the risk list.
Anyone entering the country from a high-risk area and not fully vaccinated or recovered must be in quarantine for ten days and can only get out of it five days after entry with a negative test at the earliest. The classification as a high-risk area is linked to a travel warning from the Federal Foreign Office for non-essential tourist trips. It makes it easier for tourists to cancel trips that have already been booked free of charge, but does not mean a travel ban.
Countries and regions with a particularly high risk of infection are classified as high-risk areas. However, it is not only the number of infections that is decisive for this. Other criteria are the speed at which the virus is spreading, the burden on the healthcare system and the lack of data on the corona situation. (14.01.2022)