AThe members of the Federal Government’s Expert Council on the Corona Pandemic have so far not spared warnings. Protection against infection with the omicron variant through vaccination or recovery is “reduced,” they wrote, for example, in the first of two statements published by the panel over the weekend. And they didn’t stop there. The experts therefore expect increasing seven-day incidences, which can reach regional values of “several thousand” infections per 100,000 inhabitants.
Nationwide, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) gave the incidence on Monday at 840.3. The committee warned of a “too large gap in vaccinations” for people over 50 in particular and feared that “a large number of hospital admissions could be expected” in the near future.
Steep curve for the children
It all didn’t exactly sound like things could be allowed to continue as before. But that is exactly what the 19 experts were campaigning for shortly before the next prime ministerial conference this Monday: the previous measures should be retained and strictly implemented, wrote the expert council. Additional steps may be necessary if “critical marks” such as a high hospitalization rate are reached in the future.
But when the number of hospital admissions is critical and which other brands can be used, the experts are silent. Also no word on which measures will then be necessary from their point of view. After all, they give the political leaders the hint that these steps “should now be prepared in such a way that they can be implemented without delay”.
However, the members of the Expert Council do not explain how this can be achieved in view of the many question marks. A draft resolution for the round of prime ministers also states that the current measures should continue to apply for the time being. Opening perspectives should only be developed when “an overload of critical infrastructure in general and the health system in particular can be ruled out,” says the document available to the FAZ.
New figures from the RKI make it clear that the corona virus has recently spread particularly strongly among children and young people. According to the latest weekly report, which shows data from the second calendar week – i.e. from January 10th to 16th – the nationwide incidence increased by a factor of 1.4 within a week. Incidences among younger people increased, in some cases significantly more. At 1,183 cases per 100,000 people, the incidence was highest among 15- to 19-year-olds of all age groups. In the 10 to 14 year olds, the incidence almost doubled within a week, the last value was 1138.
“Risks for small children extremely low”
The curve for infections in children between the ages of five and nine rose sharply, the incidence rose almost by a factor of 2.3 to 1096. At a lower level, small children up to four years of age also contracted the corona virus more frequently, and the incidence doubled 461.
The Berlin pediatrician Jakob Maske, spokesman for the professional association of paediatricians, has already observed the development in his Schöneberg practice. “We see a lot more children who are infected,” says Maske of the FAZ. However, many infections were noticed during routine tests and not because the children were showing signs of illness. “Many children are infected, but not sick.” Maske therefore advises parents to remain calm if the test result is positive. “The risks for small children of becoming ill at all from an infection are extremely low. Severe cases are so rare that you can almost ignore it.”