Before the Corona summit: Lauterbach announces “step by step openings”.

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From: Astrid Theil, Andreas Schmid

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and Karl Lauterbach (SPD), Federal Minister of Health, take part in the SPD federal party conference. (Archive) © Kay Nietfeld/dpa

On Monday (January 24th) there will be the first Corona summit in the new year, at which Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) will discuss further measures with the Prime Minister.

  • On Monday, the prime ministers will meet Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) for the Corona summit.
  • Karl Lauterbach now gave a perspective as to when easing can be expected (see update from January 23, 20:11).
  • Chancellor Olaf Scholz spoke out against easing in advance (see update from January 23, 4:50 p.m.). A first draft resolution shows possible adjustments (see update from January 23, 5:58 p.m.)
  • This news ticker is continuously updated.

Update from January 23, 20:11: The draft resolution for the Corona summit on Monday speaks of an “opening perspective”. What do the federal and state governments mean by that? Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said on ZDF in the evening: “If the number of cases goes down again, then of course the restrictions cannot remain. Then, step by step, openings would be made again.”

But it will take a while until then. Lauterbach expects the current omicron wave to peak in mid-February. But: “It is right to consider it now.” In addition, the minister again spoke out in favor of general vaccination in the program “Berlin direct”. The SPD politician does not believe that the omicron variant is the last corona mutation. “I believe that there will be other variants because we still have so many people around the world who can become infected.” Other combinations could form. “I’m afraid we’ll have problems again in the fall.”

Lauterbach defended that there are no transitional regulations when the convalescent status is reduced from six to three months*. “I can’t say now that there will be a transition if it cannot be maintained medically.” In view of the now predominant omicron variant, people who have recovered from corona unfortunately lost their vaccination protection after three months and could become infected. “If you want security and want to control the number of cases and protect the vulnerable in particular, then you have to act quickly.”

Corona summit on Monday: draft resolution in the direction of “keep it up”

Update from January 23, 5:58 p.m: No large-scale easing, but no far-reaching tightening either. This is how the plans of the federal and state governments can be summarized. However, there are adjustments in individual areas. This is shown by the draft resolution of the MPK*.

In the future, not everyone who tested positive with a rapid test will be eligible for a PCR test. The labs can’t keep up. Therefore, the limited availability of PCR tests should in future be restricted to vulnerable groups and employees who care for and treat them. There are also slight changes in contact tracing and quarantine regulations for nursing staff.

There are only a few loosenings in the paper. However, adjustments to outdoor events are conceivable. This may include professional sports such as the Bundesliga. In this context, however, the draft resolution only speaks of an “opening perspective”. It is not clear how this should be structured in concrete terms.

The clear course goes in the direction of “keep it up”. “The Chancellor and the heads of government of the federal states agree that the rules for social contacts and events that have been in force up to now will continue to apply.”

Rule loosening? Chancellor Scholz becomes clear before the Corona summit

Update from January 23, 4:50 p.m: Before the Corona summit, neither large-scale easing nor far-reaching tightening are foreseen. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) also pointed this out. “I am in favor of continuing on the path we have taken,” says Scholz Süddeutsche Zeitung. The Chancellor gave a clear rejection of easing: “In any case, it is certainly not appropriate to relax the rules across the board in the middle of the omicron wave.” “No course correction” is needed. According to the Chancellor, the “strict rules” that had been introduced since November meant that the omicron wave reached Germany later than other European countries.

Closed meeting of the federal cabinet
Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) makes a statement before the start of the Federal Cabinet’s closed meeting in the Federal Chancellery. © Michael Kappeler/dpa

Corona summit: Job-related vaccination requirement on the brink – incidence at maximum

First report from January 23rd: Berlin – On Monday (January 24), the prime ministers want to discuss how to proceed in the corona pandemic with Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD). The measures that could be decided are influenced by the current infection process and expert opinions. An overview.

The corona numbers are currently increasing rapidly in Germany. The seven-day incidence of new infections has exceeded 800 for the first time. On Sunday morning (January 23), the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported an incidence of 806.8. In the last few days, this value has risen sharply: the day before the incidence was 772.7 and a week ago it was 515.7. According to experts, however, the number of infections should be treated with caution, especially in the future. It is expected that more and more infections cannot be detected because test capacities and health authorities are increasingly at the limit.

Corona Expert Council: No further tightening of the measures recommended

The expert council of the federal government *, which is important for political action in the corona pandemic, published a statement on the current situation on Saturday evening (January 22) and made recommendations. In view of the high incidence values ​​​​and case numbers, these were surprising: the committee does not recommend any new tightening of the corona measures. Instead, the existing regulations would have to be retained and consistently enforced.

Further measures would only have to be introduced if the hospitalization rate exceeds critical levels in the coming weeks. However, the committee does not write in the statement which value is critical and which exact measures should then be taken. Measures should be prepared now so that they – if necessary – “can be implemented without delay”.

End of the pandemic: Experts continue to pin hope on vaccination

The Expert Council continues to regard contact restrictions and vaccination as essential measures to overcome the corona pandemic. The intensification of the booster campaign is therefore a high priority. Otherwise, you have to expect “strong waves of infection and illness” again and again. With an increase in basic immunity in the population and a decrease in the number of cases and hospital admissions, contact restrictions could even be gradually withdrawn.

However, there is also a warning: Due to the existing contact reductions and the prudent behavior of the citizens, the internationally observed steep increase in the number of infections in Germany was initially slowed down. However, the Expert Council expects a further increase, at the peak of which seven-day incidences “could be reached by several thousand regionally”.

Minister of Health Lauterbach: Relaxing would “pour oil on the fire”

Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) has also spoken out several times in favor of maintaining the existing measures without tightening them up. Opposite of Rheinische Post But he also warned against easing: “But easing would be fatal. We would pour oil on the fire and accelerate the wave.” He also suggested prioritizing the particularly reliable PCR tests and concentrating contact tracing on selected professional groups.

The upcoming vaccination requirement for nursing staff and hospital staff could also become an important topic at the upcoming Corona summit. Occupational vaccinations are to be introduced in mid-March. However, more and more criticism was expressed about this. According to that daily mirror several federal states insist on postponing the corona measure. It should first wait for the introduction of the protein vaccine Novavax. Too many nurses do not want to be vaccinated and would accordingly be eliminated in the health sector, which is already suffering from severe staff shortages.

Job-related compulsory vaccination on the brink: Waiting for the protein vaccine Novavax

However, since the new Novavax vaccine is more accepted by many vaccination skeptics than the previous mRNA vaccines, many nursing staff could still be vaccinated with it. The first shipment of 1.75 million doses is expected to be available from February 21. With two vaccinations, however, this could delay the introduction by several weeks. Crisis talks are said to have taken place on Saturday in this context in the presence of Health Minister Lauterbach (SPD). Meanwhile, Markus Söder (CSU) * insists on a postponement of the vaccination requirement because he fears too many staff losses. (at/dpa) * is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA

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