Corona up-to-date: Paxlovid: Ema recommends admission – politics

The EU medicines agency Ema has approved the Covid drug Paxlovid. The Ema announced in Amsterdam that the drug from the US manufacturer Pfizer could prevent serious illness in adult patients after a corona infection. ‘The safety profile of Paxlovid was favorable and side effects were generally mild,’ the Ema experts stated. Data from laboratory studies suggested that it would also work against omicron and other variants. Now the EU Commission still has to approve the approval, but that is considered a formality. It is still unclear when the drug can be bought from the pharmacy on prescription.

Including Paxlovid, there are now seven medicines available to treat Covid-19 patients in the EU, but Paxlovid is the first medicine that patients can take orally at home. The Covid pill is considered to be very effective, and it is said to reduce the risk of very serious illnesses by almost 90 percent, especially in people with previous illnesses.

According to Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD), Germany has ordered one million packs of Paxlovid. The drug is particularly suitable for the treatment of unvaccinated high-risk patients. The active ingredient nirmatrelvir is intended to inhibit a Sars-CoV-2 protein and thereby stop the virus from multiplying. Possible side effects include an impaired sense of taste, diarrhea, high blood pressure and muscle pain.

“The active ingredient blocks one of the most important enzymes that the coronavirus needs to multiply,” said Daniel Kalanovic, Medical Director at Pfizer in Germany. EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides welcomed Ema’s recommendation. This drug could “make a real contribution to alleviating the consequences of Covid”. (27.01.2022)

More than 200,000 new infections

In Germany, the number of new infections detected every day increases to 203,136, as reported by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). The seven-day incidence rises to 1017.4. The previous day the reading was 940.6. Both are new highs. The value is now more than 1000 in eight federal states: in Bavaria, Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hesse, Schleswig-Holstein and Saarland. In addition, dozens of urban and rural districts report incidence values ​​​​of more than 1000. In five of the twelve Berlin districts, which the RKI reports separately, as well as in Offenbach am Main and in the district of Dachau, it is more than 2000. Experts expect more and more cases that cannot be recorded, partly because test capacities and health authorities are increasingly overburdened.

According to the RKI, the number of deaths increases nationwide by 188 to a total of 117,314. Since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of more than nine million infections with Sars-CoV-2 have been detected. The actual total number is likely to be significantly higher, as many infections go undetected. (27.01.2022)

Hospitals are expecting many new corona patients

In view of the skyrocketing number of corona infections, hospitals are preparing for numerous new patients. The current number of 200,000 newly infected people within one day will only have an effect in the clinics in seven to ten days, said the chairman of the German Hospital Society, Gerald Gass, on Thursday in the ZDF morning magazine. “That means we will continue to see a high level of dynamics in new hospital admissions in the coming days and probably weeks,” he said.

In addition, staff are absent due to their own infections. “It puts a strain on the hospitals.” Half of the hospitals reported restrictions on occupancy last week due to staff shortages. “At the moment, however, it is not the case that the supply is at risk,” said Gass.

In the previous corona waves, the overloading of the intensive care units with corona patients had meant that operations on other patients had to be cancelled. “We don’t seem to have this situation in front of us at the moment,” said Gass, with a view to the often milder course of the disease in the corona variant Omicron. “But of course: The high occupancy in the normal wards also puts a strain on the staff and ultimately on the hospital as a whole.” (27.01.2022)

England lifts mask requirements and other measures

Despite the high number of corona cases, England has again lifted almost all of the pandemic measures that are still in force. Since Thursday, masks have no longer been compulsory in most indoor areas in the largest part of Britain, and vaccination or test certificates, which are only used at major events and in clubs, no longer have to be checked. The recommendation to work from home also no longer applies.

Boris Johnson’s government has phased out the so-called Plan B measures introduced because of the omicron variant after the number of new corona infections had fallen rapidly since the beginning of January. A number of backbenchers in the ruling Tory party expressed their rejection of the corona measures with a rebellion in the House of Commons in December.

There will also soon be further simplifications for vaccinated travelers: From February 11th, the mandatory test that was previously required after arrival in the country will no longer apply. In the British capital London, however, masks are still compulsory on trains and buses. Some supermarkets continue to call on their customers to do so.

In the past few days, new infections have leveled off at a high level – between 80,000 and 100,000 new infections are reported every day, the seven-day incidence was around 945. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland decide independently about their corona policy and vote a more cautious way. (27.01.2022)

Göring-Eckardt expects the end of the special corona regulation for the Bundestag

Bundestag Vice President Katrin Göring-Eckardt (Greens) assumes that the Bundestag will change the special corona regulation for those who have recovered. For the citizens, this has been reduced to three months, in parliament the period of six months applies through a general decree by Bundestag President Bärbel Bas (SPD). “It wasn’t a good idea and that’s why it will be changed. I’m quite sure of that,” said Göring-Eckardt on Wednesday evening on the ARD program “Maischberger. Die Woche”.

“I understood that very well,” said the Vice-President of Parliament. “The (Bundestag) President decided that and decided according to the regulations that apply in Berlin,” said Göring-Eckardt. In the state of Berlin, the 2-G-plus rule with six months for those who have recovered applies to events. (27.01.2022)

Moderna begins clinical trials for Omicron vaccine

The manufacturer Moderna has started its first clinical study to investigate a corona vaccine specially tailored to the omicron variant. A total of 600 volunteers – some with two or three injections – would take part at 24 locations in the United States, Moderna announced on Wednesday. The resistance of the antibodies with the normal booster vaccination is optimistic, said Moderna boss Stéphane Bancel. “Nevertheless, given the long-term threat of the so-called Omicron immune escape, we continue to advance our Omicron-specific vaccine candidate.”

Recently, Biontech and Pfizer also announced the testing of their vaccine candidate against Omikron. Safety, tolerability and effectiveness are to be checked, as the two companies announced on Tuesday. The study will include up to 1,420 test subjects, who will be divided into three groups. Meanwhile, published the trade magazine New England Journal of Medicine an investigation into the effectiveness of Moderna’s previously approved booster against the Omicron variant. Accordingly, the antibody level against the highly contagious mutation of the coronavirus is 20 times higher one month after the third injection than after the second – but it decreases significantly in the months that follow. Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach tweeted: “The study shows that the Moderna booster vaccine massively reduces the risk of infection with Omicron. This is exactly the booster vaccine that we are currently offering in Germany alongside Biontech.” (27.01.2022)

Lauterbach wants a shortened convalescent status across Europe

In the dispute over the reduction of the convalescent status, Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach defended the three-month period and wants to try to implement it at European level as well. “After three months, someone who was already infected with the delta variant can become infected again with the omicron variant. So the three months are scientifically correct,” said the SPD politician on ZDF.

The EU states had agreed on Tuesday that travelers should be able to move freely within the Union without further restrictions if they present valid proof of vaccination, test or recovery. In the case of proof of recovery, a validity of 180 days is mentioned here, i.e. six months. In Germany, the status was surprisingly shortened to a period of 28 to 90 days after a positive PCR test in the middle of the month.

Lauterbach does not consider a vaccination register to be necessary and also a hindrance, since an introduction would take too long. According to Lauterbach, proof of vaccination could be checked at work or when using certain means of transport or even when visiting a doctor. There could also simply be sporadic controls like in Austria. (26.01.2022)

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