The federal and state health ministers announce their joint decisions after a two-day meeting at a press conference. This includes booster vaccinations, compulsory testing in nursing homes and financial support for hospitals.
Bavaria’s Minister of Health Klaus Holetschek, chairman of the conference of health ministers, said in view of the current infection dynamics: “The situation is sometimes dramatic, worrying and anything but all-clear.” He announced that booster vaccinations after six months should in principle be possible for everyone, especially for medical staff and the elderly.
“Boosters after six months should become the rule, not the exception,” added the managing health minister, Jens Spahn. It was not long known that the third vaccination “makes such a clear difference” in breaking the wave. Now it is all the more important to give the third vaccination after six months. General practitioners are required to do this, but there must also be public offers such as vaccination centers and vaccination buses.
The obligation to test should be expanded in old people’s and nursing homes, said Holetschek. They want to put a “security lock” in the homes. Accordingly, vaccinated or recovered visitors to homes should also be required to take tests, but these should be free of charge. The federal government will create the appropriate conditions for this.
Spahn also said that 3G (vaccinated, recovered, tested) should become “even more important” as an access requirement for indoor events and should be more strictly controlled. In addition, there are 2-G regulations (vaccinated, recovered) in regions with high incidences.
Petra Grimm-Benne, Minister of Health of Saxony-Anhalt, also announced that, retrospectively from November 1, there should be financial support for hospitals that have to postpone planned interventions because of the treatment of corona patients. (05.11.21)
Pfizer drug reportedly highly effective against corona
A corona drug from the US company Pfizer has proven to be very effective in a study by the manufacturer. The risk of having to go to hospital or dying for corona has decreased by 89 percent by taking the drug in adults with an increased likelihood of serious Covid 19 disease, Pfizer said.
According to the preliminary results, the pill is more effective than the drug molnupiravir from Merck, which had halved the risk in similar tests. The study with about 1200 subjects was terminated prematurely, explained Pfizer. The data will now be submitted to the US FDA. The group had already submitted an application for emergency approval of the agent in October. (05.11.2021)
Kretschmer: Without quick action, there is a risk of a new lockdown
Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) calls for a quick meeting between the Prime Minister and the Federal Government in view of the corona infection. It is not understandable why it is not immediately possible to meet with the increasing numbers, said Kretschmer on Deutschlandfunk.
“If we take too much time now, it will end with a lockdown, just like last year.” Measures have to be taken now and not in two or three weeks, the head of government said. “We have to protect this country from a lockdown.” To do this, you need an infection protection law that also provides tools to really counter the pandemic. In this context, he also spoke out in favor of free tests.
It must also be made clear that the 2-G rule is not an unreasonable burden, but an instrument to prevent a complete lockdown. 2-G means that only those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered in the last six months are allowed access to certain locations and that tests are not sufficient for unvaccinated persons. The Saxon cabinet wants to introduce such a regulation this Friday.
It was a “devastating signal” from the traffic light coalition negotiators in the federal government to “declare the pandemic situation over”, said Kretschmer with a view to the planned expiry of the special status of an “epidemic emergency of national scope” on November 25th. “I think it has now become clear that this is a blatant misjudgment.”
Incidence reaches new high for the year
The nationwide seven-day incidence, at 169.9, exceeded the high of the third corona wave in spring. On April 26, it was 169.3, for Thursday the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported an incidence of 169.9. The highest incidence value in the entire pandemic was in the second wave on December 22, 2020 at 197.6.
On Thursday morning the value was 154.5. With 37 120 there is also a new high in new infections. However, it is initially unclear to what extent late registrations due to the holiday of All Saints played a role in the development. A week ago the value was 24,668 infections.
154 additional deaths were recorded across Germany. A week ago it was 121. The total number of known infections rises to 4,709,488. The number of corona patients admitted to clinics per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days rises to 3.73 (Wednesday: 3.62). The previous high was around 15.5 around Christmas time. (05.11.21)
Counties for compulsory vaccination for nurses, associations against it
A compulsory vaccination for staff in nursing homes remains controversial. “We now consider compulsory vaccination for certain professional groups, especially in nursing, to be inevitable,” said the President of the German District Association, Reinhard Sager, the newspapers of the Funke media group. “It is important to protect the particularly vulnerable people particularly effectively,” emphasized the local representative.
Private nursing homes and old people’s homes counter this. There is no legal basis for an obligation to vaccinate, said the President of the Federal Association of Private Providers of Social Services (bpa), Bernd Meurer, the editorial network Germany (RND). Nevertheless, the association is promoting a high level of vaccination. According to Meurer, however, the discussion about compulsory vaccination for nurses distracts from the failure to implement booster vaccinations quickly and across the board.
Christel Bienstein, President of the German Professional Association for Nursing Professions, rejects compulsory vaccination for nursing staff with reference to missing facts. It is currently unknown how many employees have not been vaccinated for what reasons. We also do not know how the vaccination rates are related to the qualifications of the employees, Bienstein told the Funke newspapers.
The board of directors of the German Foundation for Patient Protection, Eugen Brysch, is against compulsory vaccination for nurses. Brysch justified this in the Funke newspapers by saying that “people who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered can also become infected with corona and pass the virus on to those in need of care unnoticed”. Rather, a nationwide mandatory daily test for staff and visitors in the nursing homes is necessary. (05.11.21)
Germany trend: majority of Germans for compulsory vaccination
In view of the sharp rise in the number of nine infections, a majority of Germans are now in favor of compulsory vaccination. 57 percent are in favor, according to the ARD Germany trend, for which more than 1,300 people were asked. 39 percent are against a general vaccination requirement. In August the ratio tended to be reversed, at that time only 46 percent favored compulsory vaccination, while 50 percent opposed it.
The supporters of the three traffic light parties who are currently negotiating the formation of the next federal government have majorities in favor of compulsory vaccination. With those of the SPD the approval is highest with 71 percent, with those of the Greens it is 56 percent, with the FDP 53 percent.
46 percent of those surveyed consider the current measures against the pandemic to be appropriate, 14 percentage points less than in October. 29 percent are in favor of stricter measures, 16 percentage points more than last time. However, 57 percent of Germans say they are worried that there could be more severe restrictions on public life. (04.11.2021)
RKI upgrades risk assessment
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) sees the corona pandemic as an increased health risk for people in Germany. According to the institute’s weekly report, the institute changed the risk assessment for incompletely or not vaccinated persons from “high” to “very high” .
However, the RKI further emphasizes that all vaccines available in this country “according to the current state of knowledge, with full vaccination effectively protect against serious illness”. Among the reported cases – that is, among the people who tested positive for Sars-CoV-2 – the proportion of people who were completely vaccinated has increased significantly in recent weeks. It is now more than 60 percent in the age group of people 60 and over. “However, this proportion must be interpreted in conjunction with the high vaccination rate achieved in this age group,” says the report – according to statistics, it is over 85 percent.
The current development of the situation is “very worrying”, writes the RKI. If measures such as masks, spacing, reducing contacts and ventilation do not quickly reduce the number of infections, a further increase in serious illnesses and deaths is to be feared. In this case, the treatment capacities of the intensive care units could also be exceeded. From October 27 to November 3, almost 460 sick people were added to the intensive care units. According to the Divi Intensive Register, 2332 Covid sufferers are now receiving intensive treatment. (04.11.2021)