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Politicians are thinking about new regulations for the duration of quarantine

/picture alliance, CHROMORANGE, Michael Bihlmayer

Berlin – The development of the corona pandemic with a feared fifth wave also raises the question of the duration of the quarantine, according to Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD).

It was “a slightly different situation than we had a week ago,” said the SPD politician in the yesterday evening ARD– “Topics of the day”. One now has to consider “what does that mean for the quarantine period, what does that mean for the contact reductions?”

However, there are currently only estimated values ​​for the corona situation because the new infections are only insufficiently recorded over the holidays: because fewer tests are carried out, because the tests are then reported to the health authorities too late and because the authorities themselves also forwarded the data later.

The health authorities have far too few staff, said Lauterbach. He wants to change that. “That is a priority that I have.” However, the estimates are “good enough to see what is going on in Germany”.

The Bavarian Health Minister Klaus Holetschek (CSU) is pushing for a regulation for Germany. “We now have to set the course in order to be well prepared – also and especially with a view to the critical infrastructure,” he told the news portal Watson.

“From my point of view, for example, an exemption from quarantine for boosted contact persons would be conceivable.”RTL Directly, ”he said, a statement from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) or the Federal Government’s Expert Council is necessary before the upcoming Prime Minister’s Conference on January 7th.

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The German Association of Cities called on the federal and state governments to enable more laboratory and test capacities. They should “ensure that the private practices ensure that the necessary PCR tests are also carried out on public holidays such as Christmas and New Year and that sufficient laboratory capacities are available on these days,” said General Manager Helmut Dedy Editorial network Germany. The health authorities are not the bottleneck – most PCR tests are carried out by the medical profession. “Since many medical practices and laboratories are now on Christmas vacation, there is less testing there.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) has shown understanding for the shortening of the corona quarantine by some countries. The reduction of the quarantine period is a “compromise” between the control of the infection process and economic considerations, said the WHO emergency officer Michael Ryan in Geneva.

“If you cut the quarantine time, there will be a small number of cases where people will get sick and possibly transmit the virus because they were released from quarantine earlier,” Ryan said. However, this will only make up “a relatively small number”, he emphasized.

Consequently, a shortening is a compromise between science and the attempt to achieve as little damage to the economy and society as possible. “Governments are trying to find that balance.”

So far, three countries have shortened the isolation period for those who tested positive for the coronavirus. Yesterday, the Spanish government announced that it would reduce the quarantine for infected people from ten to seven days. The US had previously halved the quarantine time for symptom-free infected people from ten to five days.

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Argentina joined in yesterday, announcing a reduction in the quarantine of fully vaccinated infected people from ten to seven days. Vaccinated people who have had contact with an infected person but show no symptoms only have to isolate themselves for five days, according to Health Minister Carla Vizzotti.

In its guidelines, the WHO recommends quarantining those who are symptomatically infected for ten days after the onset of symptoms, plus at least three further symptom-free days. For infected people without symptoms, the WHO recommends an isolation period of ten days after the positive test. © afp / dpa / aerzteblatt.de

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