New virus mutations like Omikron require quick action, warn scientists. Numerous top politicians are alarmed.
Berlin – The Leopoldina’s new corona warning has had a huge echo. Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder speaks of a “warning and wake-up call from Berlin”. “Politicians should follow the advice of science without hesitation,” said the incumbent Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek (CDU) according to dpa.
The scientific academy proposed on Saturday, among other things, to immediately impose several weeks of contact restrictions also for vaccinated people, to introduce mandatory vaccination for hospital staff first and to enable 30 million booster vaccinations in Germany by the end of the year.
“The situation is more serious than most believe,” said Söder on dpa request. “And Omikron could become a new threat,” he emphasized with regard to the virus variant newly discovered in southern Africa. “We should therefore take the information from the Leopoldina very seriously and advise them quickly,” said the CSU chief. Karlickzek, on the other hand, told the dpa: “It is an unmistakable request to everyone who has political responsibility in the country or who will soon do so.”
Leopoldina announcement in Corona crisis: Holetschek for fast MPK
The chairman of the Conference of Health Ministers (GMK), Bavaria’s head of department Klaus Holetschek (CSU), has spoken out in favor of the Leopoldina demand for a quick federal-state meeting. The statements of the scientific advisory committee could not be ignored, said Holetschek on Saturday the dpa. “This is a wake-up call par excellence from the Leopoldina,” he said. The federal government must now take up this signal immediately.
Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier also reacted to the new Omikron mutation. He canceled his three-day trip to the Gulf region at short notice because of the local development of the corona pandemic. The Leopoldina appeal also played a role in the decision. In the current Bild am Sonntag (BamS) The SPD politician appealed to all people in Germany to voluntarily limit their contacts in order to prevent a further lockdown.
The Omikron variant (B.1.1.529) has been classified as “worrying” by the World Health Organization (WHO). The EU health authority ECDC speaks of serious concerns that the variant could significantly reduce the effectiveness of the corona vaccines and increase the risk of reinfections.
The exact effects of the new variant have not yet been determined. According to the WHO, it may take weeks until there is clarity. (dpa / AFP / frs)