BHealth Minister Karl Lauterbach reiterated his call for further contact restrictions before new federal and state consultations on the corona pandemic. He thinks this is necessary in view of the Omicron wave, said the SPD politician on Wednesday evening in the ZDF “heute journal”. Admittedly, one must proceed with caution. But Lauterbach also emphasized: “We will probably have to increase again.”
Adjusted quarantine rules and a continuation of the booster campaign are also required. The booster vaccinations are the best protection against the omicron variant. Lauterbach called for the high vaccination rate to be resumed as before Christmas.
More than 60,000 new infections
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported a significant increase in the official nationwide seven-day incidence. The RKI gave the value of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants per week on this Thursday morning as 285.9.
It has been rising day by day since the end of December, although the RKI continues to assume that new infections will be underreported due to fewer tests and reports during the holidays and vacations. For comparison: the previous day the value was 258.6, a week ago 207.4, a month ago 441.9.
The health authorities in Germany reported 64,340 new corona infections to the RKI within one day. Exactly one week ago there were 42,770 infections. The previous record was 65,371 new infections on November 18th.
According to the new information, 443 deaths were recorded across Germany within 24 hours. The number of people who died from or involved a proven infection with the Sars-CoV-2 virus rose to 113,368. A week ago there were 383 deaths.
The RKI has counted 7,361,660 detected infections with Sars-CoV-2 since the beginning of the pandemic. The actual total number is likely to be significantly higher, as many infections go undetected. The RKI put the number of people who had recovered at 6,626,500.
Lauterbach for masks in schools
In the interview, Minister Lauterbach advocated wearing protective masks for schools. These would work very well against the Omicron variant. Lauterbach appealed to the states to make wearing masks a requirement. FFP2 masks would be recommended here. Unfortunately, there are no suitable masks for many children, especially smaller ones.
At the same time, Lauterbach defended the changed quarantine rules proposed by the conference of health ministers with shorter breaks for staff in important care areas linked to PCR tests. This would keep these areas viable. Sufficient PCR tests are available for this. Up to 2.3 million PCR tests could be carried out per week.