Corona Summit: That is what the Expert Council recommends

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From: Astrid Theil

Olaf Scholz and Karl Lauterbach at the presentation of the SPD ministers in early December 2021. (Archive photo) © Michael Kappeler/dpa

The Corona Expert Council does not recommend any tightened measures in the current Omicron wave, but warns of the infection process.

Berlin – The German government’s Corona Expert Council reassessed the situation shortly before the Corona summit on Monday. In view of the high incidence values ​​and case numbers, the expert council made a surprising recommendation in its paper: the committee does not recommend any new tightening of the corona measures. Instead, the existing regulations would have to be retained and consistently pursued.

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

Corona expert advice: Instead of tightening, even loosening is possible

According to the expert council, instead of tightening, loosening is even possible. If the number of cases and hospital admissions decrease, contact restrictions could be gradually withdrawn. However, it is also warned: One should not be fooled by the currently low hospitalization rate. “The hospitalization rate is lower than expected for the Delta variant, but would have to be an order of magnitude (roughly a factor of 10) lower than last winter in order to compensate for the expected high number of cases and not to overload the health system.”

Such a strong reduction is currently not to be expected despite vaccinations. “Accordingly, a large number of hospital admissions can be expected if the incidence continues to rise,” the committee said in the paper. 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”.

Vaccination as a means against recurring waves of infection

The Expert Council continues to regard contact restrictions and vaccination as essential measures to overcome the corona pandemic. It is therefore “urgent to close the remaining immunity gaps in society through vaccination”. 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.

The Expert Council consists of 19 scientists from different disciplines. The recommendations of the panel, which is also responsible for data collection and digitization in the pandemic, were published on Saturday evening (January 22nd). Next Monday (January 24), Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and the Prime Ministers will meet at another Corona summit to discuss how to proceed in the Omicron wave. (at / dpa / afp)

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