Corona Pandemic not over yet? Virologist Christian Drosten speaks of a misunderstanding

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According to his statement about the end of the pandemic in December 2022, the virologist Christian Drosten sees a misunderstanding. In the interview, he actually said something different than what was publicly received, said the Charité professor in the NDR podcast “Coronavirus Update”. “What I said is: I expect that the coming winter wave will be more of an endemic wave (…) and that the pandemic will then be over.” The end of the pandemic cannot be announced in advance, you can only look at it afterwards – i.e. after this wave.

End of the pandemic only clear in hindsight

About the reading of some media and politicians, after which he declared the pandemic over, he said: “I think everyone who has heard me communicate so far knows that I don’t actually say such research things in public.” He can only say what he expects: “That we will soon, in a few months, say: In hindsight, that was the first endemic wave of this virus’, and that means the pandemic is over.” You can’t announce something like that in advance.

Political demands for Drosten interview

Shortly before the turn of the year, sentences from a Drosten interview with the “Tagesspiegel” also led to political calls for further easing. The newspaper quoted the virologist at the end of December as follows: “We are experiencing the first endemic wave of Sars-Cov-2 this winter, and in my opinion the pandemic is over.” He added: This means that after this winter there will be such broad and resilient population immunity “that the virus can hardly get through in the summer”.

Mask requirement on trains

Christian Drosten also commented on the subject of the mask requirement in the new podcast edition. In his estimation, the mask will “no longer be that efficient” in the current phase of the pandemic. Since the masks are only worn on a few occasions, they hardly play a role in controlling the overall transmission of the corona virus. To protect so-called vulnerable groups, Drosten spoke out against lifting the mask requirement on trains. The Federal Government does not follow this recommendation. The mask requirement in long-distance transport should fall on February 2nd.

Corona spread in China as a risk

The virologist sees “a certain fundamental danger” in the explosive spread of the corona virus in China. There is currently no indication that the corona virus in China is changing in such a way that it can bypass human immunity. However, due to the large spread, it is currently getting the chance to come up with new solutions to circumvent human immunity. The situation is therefore “unpredictable”. Drosten said, “we will see in a few weeks whether something new has emerged.”

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