Home World Corona news: “Control illusion in the Oikron wave – politics

Corona news: “Control illusion in the Oikron wave – politics

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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 channel. The infection numbers are already “significantly higher” than the number communicated by the RKI because many infections would no longer be 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. (01/14/2022)

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. (01/14/2022)

Berlin transport companies are thinning out their bus services because of Omikron

The Omikron wave is having an impact on local transport in Germany’s capital. Because more and more employees are calling in sick, the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) have to make restrictions in order to continue to maintain a stable timetable. The restrictions initially only affect bus traffic, as the company announced. An adjusted timetable will apply there from January 19th. Fewer buses are running, among other things, on bus line 100, which is popular with tourists, and there will only be a 20-minute interval in the future. According to the BVG, there could be further restrictions from January 24th. (01/14/2022)

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 neighboring countries of Germany 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 from a high-risk area and not fully vaccinated or recovered must be in quarantine for ten days and can escape with a negative test five days after entry at the earliest to free. 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. (01/14/2022)

Lauterbach: “We’re entering difficult waters”

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) warns of the spread of the omicron variant in the coming days and weeks. “We are entering difficult waters,” he said before the federal press conference. Hospitals and test laboratories are likely to reach their capacity limits. He therefore also arranged for the laboratories to give priority to evaluating the PCR tests of employees in clinics, homes for the disabled and nursing homes. Lauterbach again campaigned for strict corona rules. What the federal and state governments have decided so far is working. This is shown by the fact that the doubling time – i.e. the time in which the number of corona cases doubles – is relatively high in an international comparison at just under seven days. This suggests that it will not spread so quickly. The goal is “to stretch and reduce the unavoidable, the increasing number of infections, so that we can get through the fourth wave with as few victims as possible,” said Lauterbach. And during this time you have to continue to provide many people with a booster vaccination. A “contagion” cannot be accepted because it is not clear how many people will then die. At the same time, Lauterbach considers the current anti-corona measures to be sufficient. However, he is concerned that the agreed 2-G-plus regulation in the catering trade will not be implemented everywhere – Bavaria, for example, has not implemented it – and that the controls are not sufficient. “Loosening can be ruled out at the moment,” added the SPD politician. If medical care was to be expected to be overloaded, “then other measures must of course be taken to counteract it”. “The number of cases will continue to rise” – as will the number of deaths, said Lothar Wieler, President of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI ). At the same time, one has to assume that more and more cases will not be known at all – since the infected people show fewer symptoms, the laboratories are overloaded and the health authorities cannot keep up with the reports. Like Lauterbach, Wieler campaigned for more vaccinations and protective measures: Wearing a mask is also an option in your own household. The virologist Christian Drosten warned that the population in Germany should already be infected. Three million people over the age of 60 have not yet been vaccinated, and almost nine million have not been boosted and are therefore not fully protected against the omicron virus variant, he says. But at some point you have to “let the virus run” because you can’t keep vaccinating the population. (01/14/2022)

Federal Council launches new quarantine rules

The new quarantine regulations for corona infected people and contact persons can come. After the Bundestag, the Bundesrat also approved a regulation on Friday that creates a legal framework for this. Among other things, it stipulates that triple-vaccinated contact persons of corona infected people no longer have to go into quarantine. In addition, this enables shorter quarantine times in the event of infections in order to prevent the collapse of personnel in important care areas when the number of infections increases sharply. In the special session of the state chamber, Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) said that the pandemic had arrived at an “interface”. You’re in your third year. This raises the question of whether it will be possible to defuse the pandemic in such a way that the situation is endemic with only sporadic outbreaks and few deaths – or whether this opportunity will be missed. “We have to seize this opportunity and we have the means to do so. We have the means to largely end the pandemic in Germany this year.” (01/14/2022)

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New highs in new infections and seven-day incidence

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reports a new high with 92,223 new corona infections after a negative record was recorded the day before. That is 35,888 more cases than on Friday a week ago, when 56,335 positive tests were reported. The nationwide seven-day incidence rises to 470.6 from 427.7 the previous day. 286 people died in connection with the virus. This increases the number of reported deaths to 115,337. So far, more than 7.83 million corona tests have been positive in Germany. (01/14/2022)

WHO recommends two more drugs for Covid-19 patients

A panel from the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the use of Eli Lilly’s drugs, as well as Glaxo Smith Kline and Vir Biotechnology, to treat Covid-19 patients. According to a report published in the British Medical Journal, the WHO wants to expand treatment options with the recommendation. According to this, Eli Lilly’s drug baricitinib is said to improve the survival rate of patients in hospital and reduce the need for ventilation. According to the WHO, GSK-Vir’s antibody therapy, which has already been shown to be effective against omicron in laboratory tests, is suitable for infected patients who are highly likely to require hospitalization. (01/14/2022)

Omikron’s share in Germany increases to 73 percent

Omicron is now the predominant variant in Germany. The nationwide share is now 73.3 percent, as reported by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in its weekly report. The distribution of the delta variant, which has dominated for a long time, is shrinking to 25.9 percent. A week ago, the RKI had put the Omicron share in Germany at 44.3 percent. The spread is increasing in all federal states and is between eleven percent in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and 96 percent in Bremen. The fluctuations and differences also result from the different intensity of variant-specific tests in the individual federal states, the delays in laboratory diagnostic recording and transmission as well as the spread from metropolitan areas. The RKI also reports a very high workload in the laboratories. “In order to ensure timely diagnostic care for Sars-CoV-2 patients, it is urgently necessary to prioritize testing in accordance with the national test strategy,” explains the institute. Restrictions in the test capacities are mainly staff-related, since the employees in the laboratories are also affected by the high rate of infection. (01/13/2022)


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