More new infections than ever before

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Nurses and a doctor take care of a patient in the intensive care unit for corona patients. © Sebastian Gollnow/dpa

Germany has been struggling with the corona virus for exactly two years. People have had to accept many limitations. An abatement of the pandemic is not yet in sight.

Berlin – Exactly two years after the first confirmed corona case in Germany, the number of new infections is at a record level.

According to information from Thursday morning, the Robert Koch Institute received 203,136 new infections within one day, more than ever before. The seven-day incidence, i.e. the infections per 100,000 inhabitants and week, climbed to a record 1017.4.

On January 27, 2020, the corona virus was confirmed for the first time in a man from Bavaria. Since then, more than nine million infections have been registered, and more than 117,000 have died from or were involved in an infection. Vaccinations against the coronavirus have been carried out since the end of December 2020. A good three quarters of the population have received at least one dose, slightly fewer have full basic protection and a good half have received a booster vaccination.

Omicron causes infection numbers to explode

The highly infectious omicron variant, which usually leads to a milder course of the disease, has caused the number of infections to explode in recent weeks. This is now also leading to staff shortages in medical care. “The more the incidences rise, the more practices will have to close temporarily due to illness,” said the national chairman of the German Association of General Practitioners, Ulrich Weigeldt, to the newspapers of the Funke media group. The head of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, Andreas Gassen, also emphasized in the Funke newspapers that medical staff could become scarce. “The quarantine will become a problem in the coming weeks,” said Gassen.

There is a heated debate as to whether there should be a general obligation to vaccinate in Germany. In the Bundestag, the MPs discussed this on Wednesday in an “orientation debate” free of faction constraints. Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach defended the compulsory vaccination on Wednesday evening in the ZDF “heute journal” and emphasized that it was an ethical debate. That is why Lauterbach did not speak in Parliament as a minister, but as a member of parliament. Lauterbach does not consider a vaccination register to be necessary or a hindrance, as it would take too long to introduce it.

National Impregister

On the other hand, the German Association of Towns and Municipalities is calling for the introduction of such a register. “In order to be able to effectively implement a general obligation to vaccinate, you need a reliable and easy-to-use database,” said managing director Gerd Landsberg of the editorial network Germany. “The easiest and best way to achieve this goal is a national vaccination register in which information on the corona vaccination status and other vaccinations is stored,” emphasized Landsberg. Lauterbach replied on ZDF that 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.

Saarland Prime Minister Tobias Hans admitted that many people were “pandemic tired” after two years of restrictions. “The fact that criticism of individual measures or the Corona strategy as a whole is increasing is therefore also completely understandable and political decision-makers have to live with it: Because in this situation there has never been and never is the one perfect solution that has no disadvantages for anyone ‘ Hans told the Rheinische Post. Overall, however, it was quite successful “to carefully reconcile the personal freedom of each individual and the legitimate interests of the economy with the protection of our health in the corona pandemic”.

Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister Stephan Weil also admitted: “Of course, many people are exhausted after two years of the pandemic.” The SPD politician added in the “Rheinische Post” with a view to his state: “Nevertheless, we still experience a lot of approval for our cautious and at the same time proportionate course in Lower Saxony.” dpa

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