The Robert Koch Institute reports 78,318 new positive tests within 24 hours. That is 14,925 more cases than on Monday a week ago, when 63,393 new infections were reported. The nationwide seven-day incidence rises to a high of 1176.8. The previous day it was 1156.8. 61 more people died within a day related to the virus. This increases the number of reported deaths to 117,786. So far, more than 9.81 million corona tests have been positive in Germany. (31.01.2022)
IMK boss Herrmann wants to step up action against extremist violent criminals during corona protests
The chairman of the conference of interior ministers, Bavaria’s interior minister Joachim Herrmann (CSU), wants to step up action against extremist violent criminals during corona protests. His explicit warning is aimed “at extremist arsonists who are ready to use violence and want to use the protests to spread their radical ideas and their anti-democratic attitude,” Herrmann told the newspapers of the Funke media group.
As chairman of the conference of interior ministers, he will “work hard for increased monitoring of extremist efforts in the scene.” The Bavarian Office for the Protection of the Constitution has a particular eye on right-wing extremists and citizens of the Reich. “Corresponding mobilization findings are immediately passed on to the police.” The interior minister called it questionable that corona demonstrations were called on the anniversary of Hitler’s seizure of power in 1933. (31.01.2022)
Lindner: Relaxation should be an issue in February
Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) is thinking about loosening the corona virus. “We haven’t gotten over the omicron wave yet, but we have to start working on when and under what conditions gradual openings can occur,” says the FDP leader Spiegel.
The next federal-state round in February should deal with it. There could be rapid changes in retail, while more lead time is needed in other areas – for example in the event industry. “For me, it’s about creating an expectation perspective, under which conditions and in which steps something is possible,” says Lindner. (30.1.2022)
54 new corona cases before the Olympics in Beijing
Five days before the start of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, there were a total of 16 new corona cases among athletes and team members. This was announced by the organizing committee. At the airport, ten more positive tests were added to people who traveled in connection with the Winter Games. Overall, the total number grew by 54 on Sunday, the host city of Beijing reported 20 new corona cases among its citizens, the highest number in a year and a half. As a result, the city closed several condominiums. More than two million people were due to be tested for the virus in Fengtai District, which has seen the highest number of cases.
The Beijing Games will be played in a tightly controlled bubble where all participants will be tested daily for COVID-19 and live in complete isolation from the Chinese population. The “closed cycle” in which the 60,000 Olympic participants in Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou move is part of the zero Covid policy with which China has so far prevented major corona outbreaks. The forthcoming New Year celebrations, which will bring millions of families and friends together, are seen as a challenge for China’s pandemic control strategy. (30.1.)
Austria wants to gradually relax corona rules
Despite a high number of new infections, Austria is gradually relaxing its corona measures. Chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) announced that the curfew would be pushed from 10 p.m. to midnight on February 5. From February 12th, the 2-G rule will apply in retail. However, the obligation to wear an FFP2 mask remains. From February 19th, the 3-G rule will apply in gastronomy and tourism instead of the 2-G rule, it said. This makes it possible for those who have not been vaccinated to visit bars – with a negative corona test.
The basis for the decisions is therefore the foreseeable further low burden on the clinics. “These numbers are stable and at a really predictable level,” said Nehammer about the situation in the normal and intensive care units. Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein (Greens) said there was no longer any risk of overloading, especially in the intensive care units. Tourism Minister Elisabeth Köstinger (ÖVP) was pleased with the development. Above all, the 10 p.m. curfew was a major challenge for the companies and the guests. She also hopes for a perspective for night gastronomy and for the big events in the next few weeks.
The seven-day incidence in Austria is around 2,400 per 100,000 inhabitants. According to the government, the peak of the current corona wave is expected at the end of the first week of February. (29.01.2022)
CDU on compulsory vaccination: “Only with a clear, narrow time limit”
The health policy spokesman for the Union faction, Tino Sorge, believes that compulsory corona vaccination is only helpful under certain conditions. “It would only make sense “if particularly dangerous virus variants threaten – and if there are suitable vaccines at the same time,” said the CDU politician world on Sunday. “If one of the two does not apply, compulsory vaccination would not be very effective.” The clear signal to the population must also be: “If vaccination is compulsory, then only with a clear, narrow time limit.”
The previously known initiatives of various members of the Bundestag for a general vaccination requirement criticized concern: “The differentiation according to virus variants and temporal component is missing from all group applications – as well as ideas for improving the database.” The Union will submit a proposal on these three points, he said.
On Wednesday, the Bundestag discussed the socially explosive topic in an orientation debate. So far there have essentially been three approaches: A draft for compulsory vaccination from the age of 18 is currently being prepared by parliamentarians from all three traffic light groups. A group led by the FDP MP Andrew Ullmann concreted a push for a “middle way”: With a mandatory, professional and personal consultation for all unvaccinated adults. And if after a certain time the necessary vaccination rate is not achieved, proof of vaccination from the age of 50 is mandatory. A group led by FDP Vice Wolfgang Kubicki wants to prevent compulsory vaccination in general.
SPD, Greens and FDP had agreed that the deputies should deliberate and decide in free vote without the usual group guidelines. SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich believes it is possible that there could be a majority for compulsory vaccination from the age of 18 in the first ballot, as he told the editorial network Germany. He also spoke out in favor of this option. (01/29/2022)
Doctors disagree on length of recovery status
Medical President Klaus Reinhardt described the controversial shortening of the convalescent status as sensible from a medical point of view. “The previous scientific evidence indicates that unvaccinated people can become infected with the omicron variant much earlier than after six months after undergoing a delta infection,” said Reinhardt Rheinische Post. The President of the German Medical Association jumped to the side of Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD), who had defended the reduction to three months.
The recovered status was surprisingly shortened to a period of 28 to 90 days after a positive PCR test two weeks ago based on new guidelines from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). It is only during this time that one is considered to have recovered, previously this period lasted six months. The decision sparked some fierce criticism. In other EU countries, people who have been infected with the corona virus are considered recovered for a period of six months. The rule also affects people who want to travel from one EU country to another, for example.
The chairwoman of the medical organization Marburger Bund, Susanne Johna, expects a retreat in Germany: “I don’t think that the 90-day rule in Germany can be maintained permanently,” she said Rheinische Post. “Only a few days ago, the member states of the EU set the validity of the convalescent status to six months.” Going it alone by Germany does not make sense. In principle, it is true that the number of antibodies in most people drops about 90 days after an infection. “Of course, this is not a fixed deadline and varies greatly from patient to patient,” said Johna. (29.01.2022)
Spain’s government sees their country “over the hill”
According to the government, Spain has passed the peak of the omicron wave. “Everything indicates that the curve of infections is going down. The decline in the numbers is solidifying day by day,” said Health Minister Carolina Darias. The seven-day incidence has fallen more than 300 points to 1,306 since peaking on Monday last week. The utilization of the intensive care units also decreased somewhat. A total of 1.48 million infections have been registered in the past two weeks. Of these, only 266,000 developed clear signs of illness, the newspaper wrote The vanguard.
The country has a comparatively high vaccination rate. More than 80 percent of people have been vaccinated twice and are therefore basic immunized. 44 percent received a third vaccination. Some of the autonomous communities in Spain, which roughly correspond to German federal states, are now easing the corona measures. For example, Catalonia lifted the 3G rule for entering many indoor public spaces and limits on the occupancy of restaurants and other venues or the maximum number of participants in gatherings. However, nightlife remains prohibited for the time being.
In France and Italy, too, the omicron wave is slowly losing momentum. In France, the authorities registered just over 350,000 new infections. At the beginning of the week there were more than 500,000 new corona cases per day. In Italy, the Ministry of Health registered almost 144,000 new infections within one day. That’s almost 12,000 fewer than the day before. (28.01.2022)