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Omicron wave: Why are the number of corona cases increasing again?

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Omicron wave: Why are the number of corona cases increasing again?

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The incidence figures have risen again after a brief ebb in the current corona wave. This can have different triggers. An overview. Frankfurt – After the corona situation had recently eased somewhat, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the number of cases has been increasing again for the sixth day in a row. The RKI reported a nationwide seven-day incidence of 1293.6 on Tuesday morning (03/08/22). In the previous week, the value of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants and week was 1213. It is assumed that the actual value is even higher, but that many cases, due to the limited capacities of health authorities, are not reported. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach ( SPD) was recently concerned about the developments, for which there are probably several reasons.

Increasing incidence figures: The omicron subtype BA.2 is spreading

The Omikron variant BA.2 has been circulating since the beginning of the year and is gradually becoming more widespread. In a sample in mid-February, the subtype already accounted for 38 percent of all cases, which is why it is assumed that BA.2 is now predominant in Germany. Intensive care physician Christian Karagiannidis shared a preprint by an international research team in mid-February. The study states that the omicron subtype BA.2 can be transmitted much faster than the original omicron variant. Lauterbach was concerned about this: “It’s no small thing, the difference will be noticeable.” BA.2 also differs from the original variant in terms of symptoms. Finally, researchers calculated which scenarios the subtype could lead to. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach is concerned about the renewed increase in the number of corona cases during the omicron wave.© Christophe Gateau/dpa The previous omicron wave has tended to spread among children and young people up to the age of 14. Incidences are now falling in this age group. The number of cases is currently increasing again in people aged 65 and over. According to the RKI, the peak of the wave is still ahead of the older group.

Increasing incidence numbers: easing of corona restrictions as a trigger

Since February 16, the corona restrictions have been gradually relaxed in a three-stage plan. First of all, private meetings with up to 20 people were allowed again. There is also more freedom for the unvaccinated. These easing steps are having an impact on the infection process. Germany has been in the second phase of easing since March 4th. Clubs and bars have reopened, and in some cases masks are no longer compulsory. However, the easing of the second phase has not yet had any significant impact on the current seven-day incidence due to the time between infection, onset of symptoms and case reporting.

Increasing number of corona cases in Germany: Corona fatigue is growing

Lauterbach sees another reason for the increasing number of cases in the corona fatigue of the population: “In addition, the citizens become a little more careless over time.” TU Berlin whether the population will take advantage of the offers that are now possible again. If there is no difference in the contact restrictions in the resumed leisure activities compared to before the pandemic, modeling suggests a further increase in the number of infections. How people’s activity will develop after the renewed easing could be estimated next week, said Nagel.

Rising corona incidences: Carnival and Fastnacht in the middle of the omicron wave

Ash Wednesday (March 2nd, 2022) and thus the carnival and Shrovetide season are only a week ago. In some cities there were events and private meetings about the hustle and bustle. At least in certain regions, this could be a reason for the increasing number of corona cases. In North Rhine-Westphalia, for example, corona infections had recently increased, especially among 20 to 29 year olds, which the North Rhine-Westphalia Ministry of Health believes could be related to the carnival. A sharp increase in incidences was observed in the federal state, especially in larger cities such as Cologne and Düsseldorf.

Further corona loosening planned in Germany

The three-stage plan that the federal and state governments developed for the easing of corona restrictions will enter the third round on March 20th. There is talk that on “Freedom Day”, as the day is sometimes called, “all more profound protective measures” will be dropped planned measures are appropriate to the situation”. With the incidences now increasing again, the easing plan could be reconsidered. (mos/dpa) List of rubrics: © Christophe Gateau/dpa
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