The Corona week: the focus is on schools

Updated November 19, 2020, 12:40 p.m.

Keeping schools open is a big goal during the “Lockdown Light” in Germany. But it is becoming clear that children are also among the drivers of the infection process and that the measures taken in schools are insufficient. The course of the Prime Minister’s Conference has been criticized, and there is good news about vaccines. Science, medicine and politics: The most important statements from the past week.

You can find more current information on the coronavirus here

+++ Thursday, November 12th +++

21.866 New infections will be on Thursday ans Robert Koch Institute transmitted. The curve of the new Corona cases seems to be slowly flattening out, but it is still rising. This leads to the question of whether the “Lockdown Light” can actually end at the end of November and the measures can be relaxed. “Our goal has to be to get below the seven-day incidence of 50,” says Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder the “Münchner Merkur”: “We have to go through with it now. Then we’ll see if four weeks are enough. “

The CSU politician is not particularly optimistic about the next few weeks: “If we just lower the numbers a little and break off too early, we might fall into a constant alternation between lockdown and opening. That would hardly be for the people comprehensible.”

In Bavaria and previously in Hamburg, fitness studios have sued to open them. The Member of the Bundestag and SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach points out in a tweet, however, a study by the American elite University Stanford, which, among other things, identified fitness studios as super-spreading locations.

+++ Friday, November 13th +++

The unlucky day Friday the 13th. doesn’t start well. With 23,542 new corona infections reports that RKI one new high of infections within 24 hours of the onset of pandemic. Germany has been in the second lockdown for almost two weeks now, but it has not yet turned the corner.

“It is clear that we have to limit contacts, there can be no doubt about that,” says Christian Lindner in the “Morgenmagazin” of the ARD, the FDP-Chef but also advocates a different approach. risk groups According to Lindner, special protection should be given, in return, for example, the gastronomy could reopen, since the restaurants would not have a major effect on the pandemic in relation to the resulting economic damage.

“The national show of strength that the Chancellor spoke of should focus on the Protection of those particularly at risk focus“says Lindner literally. He suggests people over 60 years of age FFP2 Masks to make available and to create time windows in retail in which the Risk group shop can go. Lindner advocates pretty much the model that Tübingen’s mayor Boris Palmer (Greens) wants to implement in his city.

As Lockdown Critic gilt Hendrik Streeck, who puts his controversial statements into perspective in the “taz”. “I hold that Lockdown is not considered unnecessary, I didn’t say that either, “he explains Virology: “From my point of view, it was and is primarily about not going from one lockdown to the next, but finally developing a long-term strategy.” In addition, Streeck explains that he is a “vaccination fan”: “There is nothing that I am not vaccinated against that you can be vaccinated against.”

Also read: Criticism of Spahn for comments on infected health workers

+++ Saturday, November 14th +++

In Austria proclaimed Chancellor Sebastian Kurz a second hard lockdown. Schools and shops have to close, the population is only allowed to leave their homes for good reason. “My urgent request for the next few weeks is: Don’t meet anyone! Every social contact is one too many,” says Kurz.

Also Chancellor Angela Merkel swears the Germans in theirs Video-Podcast for difficult months. “The winter ahead of us will demand a lot from us all. The virus will determine our lives for a long time to come. That also means that we cannot meet each other in a carefree way“, she says.

They are moving more and more Schools as drivers of the pandemic in Germany in focus. “If we don’t get a better grip on the situation in schools, we will probably have to extend the shutdown,” tweeted Karl Lauterbach.

+++ Sunday, November 15th +++

Ugur Sahin, CEO of the Mainz vaccine developer BioNTech, speaks in an interview with the “BBC” about the influence of the vaccine on the course of the pandemic. BioNTech wants to deliver 300 million doses by April, explains Sahin, but the vaccine is too late for this winter.

“It is essential that we achieve a high vaccination rate by autumn,” says Sahin, and then in winter 2021 normality could return.

Also New Year’s Eve is already casting its shadow. As is the turn of the year in times of pandemic expire? New Year’s Eve fireworks have already been completely banned in the Netherlands, and the first voices calling for a ban are also being heard in Germany.

Antje Kapek, Greens parliamentary group leader in the Berlin House of Representatives, speaks out on Twitter for a ban in Germany with a view to relieving the burden on nursing staff, hospitals and protecting against new infections.

+++ Monday, November 16 +++

Monday is eagerly awaited as the country leaders meet in a video chat with Merkel to discuss further restrictions or easing. But nothing is decided, instead the decisions are made on the next one Prime Minister’s Conference adjourned on November 25th.

The fact that politicians do not decide to take any further measures provokes criticism from scientists, doctors and the opposition. “One hesitant approachIn a pandemic, it is mostly a wait and see not a good idea“says she Virologin Isabella Eckerle from the University of Geneva in the ARD’s “Tagesthemen”: “The numbers have slowed down, but they are still increasing. And as long as things are going in the wrong direction, it is clear that the measures will remain the same or will probably be adjusted again And if you want to get the number of infections down, discharge the clinics and have a little more normalcy in society, then it would have been better to start now. That’s a little bit Time that has been wasted.”

The best news of the day comes from US vaccine company Moderna, who stated in a press release that he had a vaccine that offered protection against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus with an effectiveness of 94.5 percent. “These are obviously very exciting results. It doesn’t get any better, 94.5 percent are really excellent,” explains the US virologist Anthony Fauci at “CNN”.

The still incumbent US-Präsident Donald Trump indicates that the vaccine was developed in his tenure, the elected, upcoming President Joe Biden explains that it will be months before the vaccine can actually help and that’s why Masks and social distancing stay important.

+++ Tuesday, November 17th +++

The criticism on the lack of resolutions at the Prime Minister’s Conference on Monday continues. “The time factor is extremely critical because we all know that this disease has long incubation times and that it takes a long time for someone to get sick. In summary: The virus punishes those who come too late. And that’s why I’m sad that we didn’t have any good decisions yesterday, “says Frank Montgomery, President of the World Medical Association, in the “Today Journal” of ZDF.

Montgomery also comments on the Location at the schools: “That is certainly difficult or problematic from an epidemiological point of view. But I am appalled at how few concepts there so far. So also Ms. Schwesig, who says we want to develop a long-term strategy next week. You had eight months to do that. And I ask myself: where is it Digitization of schools? But where is that too split lessons? And where are they too Teachers who then do shift work?”

Heinz-Peter Meidinger, President of the German Teachers’ Association, criticized the school policy at “watson.de” also with clear words. “The corona school policy of almost all federal states is characterized by Hustle and bustle, lack of planning and a lack of long-term concepts“, he says and suggests giving students an extra year of school.

Also the Virologin Sandra Ciesek explains in the NDR podcast “Coronavirus Update” that Children also affected by the pandemic are: “What we know is: Children can become infected, in rare cases they can also become seriously ill and they can Pass the virus on to classmates and teachers. “

+++ Wednesday, November 18th +++

The Bundestag and the Federal Council decide the new one German Infection Protection Act with a large majority, demonstrate in front of the Bundestag meanwhile Corona deniers and Opponent of the measures. In the Bundestag it bothers AfD the debate with a sign campaign.

No matter what we do or not do, there is damage: economic, health, social“says Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahnthat the new law helps politicians to make decisions and act. Spahn also reassures the AfD parliamentary group that it is no compulsory vaccination will give.

However, there will be effective vaccines soon. The BioNTech and Pfizer vaccine In final tests, it shows an even better effectiveness of 95 percent, which is what the results of the competitor Modern tops again. The BioNTech vaccine should be approved in the USA in the next few days.

“The importance of the difference between 90 percent effectiveness and 95 percent effectiveness is often greatly underestimated. I HALVED the number of people who are vaccinated. 95 percent effectiveness is a Champions League for vaccines,” tweeted Karl Lauterbach. The SPD politician also shares a study that is supposed to prove that immunity to SARS-CoV-2 should last for a long time, maybe even years.

“A blessing for vaccinations, it is becoming increasingly clear that we can end the pandemic successfully,” writes Lauterbach.

Sources used:

  • Münchner Merkur: “Corona lockdown also in December? Söder gets serious: ‘We have to go through with this'”
  • taz.de: “Interview with virologist Streeck: ‘I’m a vaccination fan'”
  • watson.de: “To relieve students and teachers: Teacher President calls for an additional school year”

The corona pandemic continues, the number of cases has recently increased steadily. It has long been clear: It can affect anyone – whether as a sick person or as a contact person. What follows is isolation or domestic quarantine. With these tips, the time will be as pleasant as possible.

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How the Prime Ministers let Merkel appear

Dhe résumé of the Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) that it was “not a big hit” is a rather euphemistic description for the conference between the Chancellor and the Prime Minister. Everything could have been done “a little more elegantly in advance, including the countries among themselves,” added Söder. He sees the communicative chaos and uses every opportunity to position himself at the side of the Chancellor.

Heike Schmoll

Political correspondent in Berlin, responsible for “Bildungswelten”.

The Federal Chancellery and Angela Merkel would have liked to pass resolutions, especially on the contact restrictions, “which will then be legally implemented because we would then have a few more days”. But these “interim legal changes,” as Merkel called such steps, were not what the Prime Ministers wanted. On Tuesday, those who like to take the gloomy perspective anyway, the SPD health specialist Karl Lauterbach in the lead, closely followed by the teachers’ associations, speak of a missed opportunity and wasted time.

While the head of the Federal Chancellery, Helge Braun (CDU), was still trying to gloss over the open dissent between the federal government and the federal states and described the conference as “not unsuccessful”, Merkel became clearer. Every day counts, hesitation costs more and more money when in doubt. “That’s why I’m sometimes impatient,” said Merkel at an event of the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” in Berlin.

Overall, federalism is “a good thing” and allows a more flexible pandemic fight and repeated: “I will continue to be the impatient part in this matter – and I am happy about any support I get.” She described the restrictions as “ democratic imposition ”. The decisions were among the most difficult of her tenure.

The country leaders reacted indignantly to the advance

Braun defended a decision paper that the Chancellery sent out after the switching conference of the heads of the state chancelleries on Sunday evening around 10 p.m. It proposed new drastic measures against the pandemic, although some prime ministers had pointed out several times over the weekend that they thought it was too early for further tightening and that they wanted to wait for a reliable assessment of the development of the infection.

The Prime Minister brought up the draft resolution from the Chancellery. On the one hand, there were the contact restrictions and infection protection in school (mask requirement for everyone, division of classes). This, as Braun justified his advance, was intended to prevent the virus from spreading further among young people. The group of 14 to 24 year olds is said to be the group with the highest incidence in almost all federal states. In Berlin it is the group of 20 to 29 year olds.

On Monday morning there was a preliminary meeting of the prime ministers, who felt taken aback by the far-reaching proposals for schools and complained that they were unrealistic because they knew that they lacked teachers and rooms for class divisions. Schools are and will remain one of the main points of contention. Afterwards – around 11 a.m. – the Federal Chancellery sent an abridged draft resolution.

The changes related to the paragraph on schools, which now only said that the federal states should submit a proposal by the next conference on how the risk of infection in the school sector could be further reduced. The binding contact restrictions in the private sector had become pure appeals. Finally, there was a third draft resolution from the federal states at 1 p.m., which had not been formally resolved or voted on, but was presented by the chairman of the conference of prime ministers, Berlin’s governing mayor Michael Müller (SPD).

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School operations become “high risk”

Germany is in partial lockdown, but the schools are still open. That could become a problem, says SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach. And makes demands.

The SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach has warned against the continuation of school operations in its current form in view of the increasing corona numbers. “We are getting into a situation where school operations become a high risk for children, teachers, parents and grandparents,” he told the newspapers of the Funke media group. He therefore advocated, among other things, a division of school classes.

One possibility is to offer classroom teaching and homeschooling on a weekly basis, explained the SPD politician. “If we do not succeed in reorganizing the lessons, we will have no choice but to artificially extend the Christmas holidays or add an additional holiday episode around February.” Lauterbach also called for teaching “in winter with a mask all the time” and providing mobile air filter systems.

The SPD expert spoke out in favor of keeping the schools open in any case. “But the way the schools are now run is not safe enough,” he said. Children and adolescents between the ages of ten and 19 are just as contagious as adults. “We are experiencing a shift in the pandemic to school age,” said Lauterbach. “The breakwater shutdown will not work properly if we lose what we gain with adults and lose with children.”

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TV criticism Hard but fair: Corona vaccine means no end

Dhe light at the end of the tunnel – much more aptly than in this tweeted half-sentence by virologist Isabella Eckerle, was hardly formulated yesterday, which was offered a few hours before her evening appearance at Frank Plasberg’s “Hard but fair”: namely something historical on the open pandemic stage . The first corona vaccine had arrived. At least the first promising results of the decisive approval study by the Mainz company Biontech and its American pharmaceutical partner Pfizer had arrived from Brazil. And during the day they had soared the prices of the companies concerned and in the evening let the fantasy of the battered breakwater shutdowners in their TV chairs overflow.

Joachim Müller-Jung

Editor in the features section, responsible for the “Nature and Science” section.

How much historical information actually comes together in this RNA vaccine is difficult to understand: Everything is new, everything is faster, everything is error-free and more effective than expected. Medical history. And now: shut up, pandemic dead? Unfortunately not like that. The Geneva virologist Eckerle conveyed that on this exciting shutdown evening without any hint of champagne cork mood on television: “We have to finish the marathon anyway.” Of course, this meant the corona measures, which Hamburg mayor and doctor Peter Tschentscher already had might be “annoying, like all of us” – and which he nevertheless considers indispensable in the long term.

Appeals, controls or bans?

In general, quite a lot of water was poured into the medicinal-historical wine on this historic evening. The vaccine was, of course, the perfect, cutting edge introduction to the debate. But since it has neither been approved nor is it available for distribution at short notice and therefore the acute increases in new infections and intensive care bed occupancy can only be managed with the old measures, the discussion drifted very routinely into the old patterns: Appeals, controls or bans – what is more effective? Restaurants closed, hairdressers open – can that be fair? And why are rapid tests not standard in all homes for a long time, where they have been available since August, asked Bundestag Vice President Wolfgang Kubicki in the group.

Karl Lauterbach, the reliable Corona oracle, had the answer quickly at hand. But what good is it if the rumor is repeated anyway and the experts are not believed? Simple rapid tests may have been around for months, but safe and carefully evaluated tests have only been on the market for a few weeks. What is still missing, however, is legal certainty in the application and a major political offensive. There it was again, the moment that the well-staffed panel could have used for a discussion about the strategic direction of fighting pandemic. The necessary keywords for this had all been mentioned, time and time again: vaccines, rapid tests, cluster strategy and so on. But a debate about the difficult future with the virus is apparently still hard to take. Instead: uncertainty, “which continues to spread” (Plasberg), and coming to terms with the past.

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Authorities are overloaded with corona contact tracking

Dhe health authorities in Germany report an increasing overload. Many are overwhelmed by the large number of corona infections that they have to track down. This was the result of a survey by the FAS at the health ministries of the federal states. In Baden-Württemberg, for example, a third of all health authorities have reported their overload. This informs the employer that the workload can no longer be fully managed. More than half of the health authorities in the south-west have also applied for help from the Bundeswehr. The state government also sees a need for action in North Rhine-Westphalia, where 2200 employees are currently involved in contact tracing: a thousand additional employees are needed. The cabinet decided this week to invest 25 million euros to hire new people – for an initial period of six months. “The trend shows us that we have to assume that the incidence will remain high,” said a spokesman.

Morten Freidel

Editor in politics for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung

Philip Eppelsheim

Philip Eppelsheim

Editor in politics for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

In Thuringia, six of the 22 health authorities are supported by the Bundeswehr, and a decision is still being made on a further request for help. In Rhineland-Palatinate, “almost all health authorities” are currently taking help from other state employees because they can no longer do it alone. In Berlin, half of the twelve health authorities can only process cases with a delay, the other half even “heavily delayed”. Saxony-Anhalt reports “problems in several health authorities”. Those responsible for particularly affected districts and cities of the FAS confirmed the same. The head of the city of Solingen, Jan Welzel, said: “We are working to the limit in the health department and have to constantly adjust staff. Much more is not allowed to come. “

The head of the health department in the Düren district in North Rhine-Westphalia, Norbert Schnitzler, said that it is currently still possible to track the contact persons of infected people. But without the massive support from “all areas of the district administration” this would “no longer be possible”. The health department of Frankfurt, Stefan Majer, praised the restrictions that were made at the Prime Minister’s conference. “Our locally differentiated measures alone would not stand a chance against the force of an exponential increase.”

The SPD health politician Karl Lauterbach spoke to the FAS in favor of concentrating on the Japanese model on clusters of cases and quasi giving up the prosecution of individual cases. “Case-by-case follow-up is inefficient, no longer happens on time, and 75 percent of the time we can’t identify the sources anyway. Individual contacts that are warned are usually warned too late, ”said Lauterbach. The switch to the Japanese model “would massively relieve the health authorities”. Lauterbach described the current situation as “very explosive”.

Hope for initiative

The health policy spokeswoman for the SPD parliamentary group, Sabine Dittmar, told the FAS that “the help of the population in tracking contacts is very important and desirable”: “This could be possible, for example, by keeping a contact diary.” This could also relieve the health authorities significantly and “help identify superspreading events”. Dittmar further said: “In my opinion, even a partial waiver of contact tracking by the health authorities would be absolutely wrong.” Ultimately, only quarantining people who might have been infected can help prevent the spread of the virus. The Cologne health officer, Harald Rau, made a similar statement. One hopes for “more initiative” of the citizens in the quarantine. What is important, however, is the “legal character of an order issued by the authority”.

Helmut Dedy, managing director of the German Association of Cities, refused to abandon contact tracking. In order to contain Corona again, it remains “very central. If we were to do without it now, we would capitulate a little before the virus. I cannot support such a change in strategy. ”The authorities in Solingen and Düren are also against turning away from tracking infections.

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Karl-Heinz Rummenigge warns of corona rules for the Bundesliga

DNew adversity threatens in German sport. When Chancellor Angela Merkel and the prime ministers of the 16 federal states discuss how to deal with the corona pandemic on Wednesday, football trembles, but above all all other sports tremble. Horror scenario is a lockdown. For numerous clubs and associations, this could be the beginning of the end.


King football is also threatened with the worst. “If the Bundesliga were to be interrupted again, so if the game couldn’t even be played without spectators, many clubs would gradually have to file for bankruptcy, and as a result there would even be the risk that the Bundesliga as a whole could collapse,” said Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge at the request of the Sport Information Service (SID).

According to information from “Bild” newspaper, Merkel wants to advertise a limited lockdown. The Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) called for tough and, above all, rapid restrictions on Tuesday. “Better to be faster and more consistent than delayed and extended,” he said after a meeting of the Bavarian cabinet. North Rhine-Westphalia is allegedly planning a ban on contact sports, reported the “Reviersport”.

It would also be “a disaster for the Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) if there were to be another lockdown. If you stop playing games for us, you can lock the shop, ”Managing Director Stefan Holz told SID. His colleague Frank Bohmann from the Handball Bundesliga (HBL) emphasized: “I hope that politicians stick to the facts and not make decisions based on feelings and symbols.”

But the prospect of more ghost games after the six-week test phase that has just ended is scary for the sport. “If there is a complete exclusion of spectators, we have to have a discussion about whether we can continue to play,” said Bohmann. For the “entire sport”, he added, this could have “serious effects”.

Clear criticism from the sport comes not least of the handling of politics and authorities with the existing hygiene concepts of leagues and clubs. “We cannot be entrusted with the creation of concepts that then take effect and function perfectly, in order to put a stop to the matter in the next step – just to send a political signal,” enthuses Bohmann.

“These concepts were developed for phases as we are now experiencing,” said Axel Hellmann, member of the board of Eintracht Frankfurt. Rummenigge took the same line in more diplomatic terms. “FC Bayern was the only Bundesliga club that did not play in front of spectators once during the six-week test phase. We regret that, of course, because we are convinced that our concept meets the highest standards. “

However, in the six-week test phase that is now ending, the football, handball or basketball clubs had to recognize that no consideration was being given to their concepts: the stadiums and halls could have been used to capacity with up to 20 percent of the capacity – given the number of infections, that remained it at the announcement. The German Ice Hockey League (DEL) did not even want to allow the 20 percent promised – their season is pending.

DEL managing director Gernot Tripcke also emphasizes the existence of suitable hygiene concepts – and warns on SID request: “If politics forbids spectators, it deprives professional sport of the basis for survival.” According to Holz, the basketball Bundesliga could initially with 20 percent of the audience capacity keep working. This is “in principle too little economically in the long run”, but: “We would be happy if this were updated at the moment under the same conditions”.

Last but not least, Frankfurt’s board member Hellmann points out that sporting events have not yet been suspected of promoting the spread of the virus. He therefore considers the exclusion of spectators “not only in professional football permanently to be the wrong and no longer proportionate path”. He sees himself in line with DOSB President Alfons Hörmann. “The reserves are used up, the clubs and associations have no more air to breathe,” he told the SID and emphasized: There is a “bare existential fear” spreading.

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New infections increase – stricter rules threaten

Convenience store

The number of nine infections in Germany has recently skyrocketed.

(Foto: Getty Images)

Berlin In front of the top CDU bodies, Angela Merkel warned again on Monday of a loss of control in the corona pandemic. “The situation is threatening,” said the Chancellor. Obviously, the measures taken so far are not sufficient, every day now counts.

The “Bild” newspaper first reported on Merkel’s statements, which were confirmed to the Handelsblatt from party circles. It was the latest warning from the Chancellor, who had sworn the country to difficult months in her podcast.

Merkel is likely to adopt a similar tone in her government statement in the Bundestag on Thursday. In addition, she wants to discuss the next steps in a video conference with the heads of government of the federal states this Wednesday. After this week, is Germany facing a lockdown like in the spring?

The federal and state governments want to avoid this scenario in any case. But the steeper the curve of new infections shoots up, the greater the political pressure. The SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach said that the number of infections could be so high in a few weeks that there would then be no alternative to tough exit restrictions such as in spring. The number of new infections reported to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) recently regularly exceeded the mark of 10,000 cases within 24 hours.

Criticism of government strategy

When evaluating the threat situation, politicians orientate themselves strongly to the number of infections – there is also criticism of this. A group of renowned German health experts points out that “the number of infections currently dominating the public debate cannot be equated with the severity of the disease in the epidemic”.

graphic

The group that has dealt critically with the government strategy in several thesis papers since the spring includes former members of the Federal Government’s Advisory Council on Health, health insurance representatives and medical professors. Many infections went unnoticed or were only slightly impaired, the authors write in their most recent paper.

“The drama of the epidemic is only justified by the serious disease progression or death.” That means: Instead of the number of those who tested positive, the focus must be much more on the occupancy of the clinics and the disease progression in risk groups.

The map of the Federal Republic in the daily situation report of the RKI is increasingly colored in the red alarm color. More and more districts are considered risk areas, so they recorded more than 50 confirmed new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days. In 71 districts, the so-called seven-day incidence was even over 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, and in relation to the whole of Germany it rose to 75.

The number of reproductions (R value), which indicates how many people an infected person infects on average, is also in the red area. To contain an epidemic, R must be less than 1. According to the RKI, the value has been well above this threshold since the beginning of October, most recently at 1.39.

The new infections reported daily now exceed the number of cases from spring – however, the values ​​are only comparable to a limited extent, as much more is now being tested. But the new dynamics of the pandemic can be seen in the positive rate: if 0.75 percent of the corona tests were positive at the end of August, the rate was recently five times as high. The health authorities are increasingly overwhelmed with the follow-up of the contacts.

In contrast, the capacities in the hospitals are still in the green area. The number of Covid 19 patients in intensive care units rose to almost 1,300 last week, but according to the RKI, around 8,300 intensive care beds are still available in Germany. Five percent of reported corona cases currently have to be hospitalized, compared with more than 20 percent in the spring. The proportion of deceased among the reported Covid 19 cases has been continuously below one percent since the end of July.

Mean age is now 39 years

One explanation for the differences compared to spring is that it is now more likely that young people are infected who, statistically speaking, have a very low risk of a severe course of Covid 19 disease. In the past few weeks, however, more and more elderly people have been infected, the average age of the cases rose from 32 years at the end of August to 39 years. Since the disease is more severe in the elderly, the number of severe cases and deaths is increasing, according to the RKI.

Angela Merkel

The Chancellor will be discussing the situation with the Prime Minister on Wednesday.

(Photo: dpa)

Merkel also warned the CDU leaders, according to meeting participants on Monday, that Germany could soon find itself in a “difficult situation” with intensive care beds. The Saarland Prime Minister Tobias Hans (CDU) told Deutschlandfunk before the federal-state consultations this week that he did not believe “that we need or will have a lockdown situation like in spring”. But this will only succeed “if we, as federal states, work in concert with the federal government to set clear standards that are transparent for everyone”.

Protection of risk groups

The group of experts around the former health practitioners Matthias Schrappe and Gerd Glaeske calls for the protection of risk groups to be given greater focus instead of mental games about hard contact restrictions. The current debate on restrictions and safeguards is centered on the general population with an emphasis on younger or mobile people, they write.

The basic idea is to break the chains of infection. “It is questionable whether this will succeed,” the paper continues with a view to the spread of the virus.

The group proposes a number of preventive measures for risk groups. For example, hospitals and nursing homes should only be allowed to be entered with FFP2 masks, which offer a high level of protection against infections. In addition, elderly and sick people would have to receive free FFP2 masks through their doctor’s offices.

While there were major bottlenecks in professional protective masks in the spring, the federal government has now created large reserves. “It is better to use them now and replace them later than to manage them in warehouses.”

More: Cancellation of the party congress causes Zoff in the CDU – Merz: “Decision against the base”.

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Lockdown may be in a few weeks

Dhe SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach has warned urgently of a new lockdown in just a few weeks and called on the federal and state governments to adopt further measures. “If we do not manage to limit personal contacts in the next two to three weeks, the numbers will have risen so much in a few weeks that we only have a new lockdown,” said Lauterbach to “Bild am Sonntag”. “The restrictions that have now been decided are unfortunately not sufficient to prevent overcrowded intensive care units and a significant increase in the death rate in December. We have to readjust that. “

Lauterbach calls for a significant expansion of the home office and shared classes in schools. “If we do not want the schools with regular school absence to become hotspots, the school classes should now be divided into morning and afternoon classes,” he said. Every contact, no matter where, could be contaminated, Lauterbach continues. “It is no longer enough just to be careful and adhere to the AHA + L rules.”

The SPD health expert has also warned the coalition partner CDU to cancel the party conference with 1001 delegates planned for the beginning of December: “The CDU cannot simultaneously advocate the ban on smaller events and then gather more than 1000 people in one place. Politics has a role model function, so the CDU should cancel the party congress. “

“The longer we wait, the greater the damage”

The President of the Foreign Trade Association (BGA), Anton Börner, also calls for tougher measures to combat corona. “We have to keep the pandemic under control under all circumstances in order to avoid another shutdown,” he told “Bild am Sonntag”. Public life must be shut down much more. “The longer we wait, the greater the damage to people’s health and also to the economy. It is better to act decisively now, even if it is painful, so that we don’t run out of time. “

Merkel repeated warning via video podcast

With an unusual step, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has once again appealed to citizens to help contain the corona pandemic. In her Saturday video podcast, after a few introductory words, she played again her much-discussed podcast from last Saturday. The pandemic situation has worsened. “What I told you last week still applies to me word for word (…). And so the podcast from last Saturday follows again, ”said the Chancellor.

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The Robert Koch Institute reported 14,714 new corona infections within one day on Saturday morning, more than ever since the beginning of the corona pandemic in Germany. However, since data gaps in the transmission of infection numbers occurred at times on Thursday, the latest number of new infections could contain corresponding late reports. At the time of the last Merkel video a week ago, the number was still around 7,800. Merkel had already predicted at the end of September that if the numbers continued to develop weekly, there would be 19,200 new infections per day at Christmas.

Crisis team leader: “Skeptical about what will happen at Christmas”

Heads of the state chancellery and crisis team heads of several countries warned in the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung” that families could not celebrate together on Christmas Eve as usual if the number of infections continued to rise. Hesse’s state chancellor, Axel Wintermeyer, told the newspaper that in this case the festival would “have to take place in a narrower framework”. His Saar colleague Henrik Eitel emphasized: “In the worst case, families will have to split their visits on the Christmas holidays”, for example over different days when adult siblings can only visit their parents separately. The head of the Lower Saxony crisis team, Heiger Scholz, was quoted as saying: “I’m becoming more and more skeptical about what will and will not work at Christmas.”

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Corona crisis: Karl Lauterbach calls for a change of strategy

Karl Lauterbach

The SPD health politician calls for a rethink in contact tracking.

(Photo: dpa)

Düsseldorf Corona is currently facing the employees of the Frankfurt Health Department with major challenges: the authority registers between 100 and 200 new cases of infection every day. It is no longer possible to trace every single contact made by an infected person. And this despite the fact that 60 soldiers are already supporting the employees every day.

“You can no longer work through such an abundance in detail, that is very clear,” said René Gottschalk, head of the Frankfurt health department, on this Friday morning in the ZDF “Morgenmagazin”. Now it is important to prioritize the cases in order to at least protect the risk groups.

The authority in the Main metropolis is an example of offices in other German cities. Government spokesman Steffen Seibert admitted on Friday afternoon that several health authorities were already overloaded. The employees there are no longer able to trace all chains of infection.

SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach views the development with great concern. “The corona contact tracing is about to collapse,” wrote the politician on Twitter on Friday afternoon.

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The federal, state and Robert Koch Institute (RKI) are currently pursuing individual cases. In Lauterbach’s view, however, in view of the development, it no longer makes sense to hold on to it. The 57-year-old is convinced that a change in strategy is needed.

He means the retrospective cluster work-up. “As soon as a new Corona case emerges, a systematic query is made as to whether the person was closely with many other people at a certain point in time in the five days before the infection, for example in a school class, at a choir rehearsal, at a party, in a care facility “, Explained the social democratic health expert in an interview with the” Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung “(NOZ) the idea behind it.

“Then you don’t chase after all the individual contacts of the person, but only contact those who were involved in the clusters, i.e. classmates, choir members and so on.” According to Lauterbach, the members of the cluster should then go into quarantine for ten days.

After five days of domestic isolation, it is possible to leave it with a negative test result. According to the health expert, the strategy has already been used in Japan.

The corona situation in Germany has recently deteriorated significantly: the RKI reported more than 11,000 new cases on Thursday and Friday, compared to around 7,000 a week ago. According to the latest situation report by the RKI, 56.2 cases per 100,000 inhabitants have been registered in Germany in the past seven days. This means that the entire Federal Republic of Germany is practically a risk area.

According to the intensive care register of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, the number of patients who have to be treated in the intensive care unit in Germany has almost doubled to more than 1,100 people in just one week. There is already a shortage of nursing staff.

Because of the development, RKI President Lothar Wieler held a press conference on Thursday. There he refused to change the corona strategy. “The Robert Koch Institute must now finally flip the switch,” warned Lauterbach in an interview with NOZ. Continuing to follow up contacts individually is a serious mistake that leads to a dead end. “We can see that the current procedure is collapsing in more and more places,” said Lauterbach.

According to the health expert, it is currently still possible to avert a complete loss of control. Provided the strategy is changed immediately. “If the offices stop tracking individual cases, sufficient staff will immediately be freed to contact cluster members,” said Lauterbach.

More: Follow the current development of the corona crisis in our news blog.

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