Karl Lauterbach does not see the corona pandemic out of control


Minister Lauterbach, where have all your flies gone? A lot of people miss her.

I auctioned most of them at a fundraiser. There were a great many lovers of these flies. I haven’t worn them myself. My children advised me at the time that it looked younger and more dynamic. A tidy sum was raised during the campaign.

Former Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said during the debt crisis: I’ll only put my tie back on when the worst is over. You could handle Corona and the fly in a similar way.

I hope that I don’t have to carry the bow tie any further. But I want to put it this way: If the Corona crisis were over just because I was tying a bow tie again, I would be on my way home to my closet right this minute. Fly instead of Corona – I would do that.

The corona infections are rising rapidly, and the Prime Ministers’ Conference also spread little confidence. Have we lost control of the pandemic?

You don’t control pandemics, you just minimize the consequences. And so far we have succeeded quite well with the omicron wave. It reached us later than other countries and has hit us less hard so far. We are currently taking a relatively conservative course and trying to flatten the rise in cases. We planned this using a model from the Robert Koch Institute and things are essentially developing as expected. People currently have around 50 percent fewer contacts than before the pandemic, plus the rules in public space, the test regime. Everything is tailored to slow down the number of cases so that hospitals don’t have to care for too many patients in intensive care units. Germany is currently on the road with significantly lower case numbers than other European countries, and the number of deaths is also lower.

The federal government’s expert council has just criticized a “blatant deficit” in the availability of current data on corona hospital admissions.

We have these numbers, but they’re arriving with a time lag. This delay must then be extrapolated in order to arrive at the current situation. This gives you a relatively good assessment of the situation. Nevertheless, there is of course a better way: That’s why, together with the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, the Institute for the Hospital Remuneration System and the German Hospital Society, I’ve been looking for solutions for how we can get this data without delay. Incidentally, we already started doing this before the Expert Council made a statement on it.


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