Corona current: nationwide incidence rises to 1227.5

The Robert Koch Institute reports 208,498 new positive tests within 24 hours. This means that more than 10 million infections have been registered in Germany since the beginning of the pandemic. The nationwide seven-day incidence rises to a new high of 1227.5. The previous day it was 1206.2. The current incidence and the number of new infections mark new highs.

However, these numbers are likely to be far too low. Experts assume a high and increasing number of cases that are not recorded in the RKI data, partly because testing capacities and health authorities are at their limit in many places. In addition, some cities and districts have been reporting problems with the transmission of the number of corona cases for days. 196 more people died within a day related to the virus. This brings the number of reported deaths to 118. 70. (02.02.2022)

Drosten warns of new opening debates

In the debate about possible easing of corona measures in Germany, virologist Christian Drosten does not see the time to give the all-clear yet. “There is one thing that hasn’t changed at first. That’s the vaccination gap in Germany. We’re not making any real progress there,” said the scientist from the Berlin Charité on Tuesday in the podcast “Coronavirus Update” from NDR-Info. Recently, the vaccination rate has even fallen again. In Denmark, for example, the corona restrictions have largely fallen due to the high vaccination rate – but the situation in Germany is not comparable. “That’s why there is no all-clear for Germany,” said Drosten.

The virologist pointed out that the new BA.2 variant from Omikron could have an even higher transmissibility than the BA.1 subtype currently predominant in Germany. Based on new data from Denmark, he assumes that BA.2 could possibly have a so-called fitness advantage and thus increased transmission ability.

Drosten explained the assumed difference between the two subtypes with the metaphor of two cars and said with a view to BA.2: “The engine has a few more horsepower.” With BA.1, on the other hand, he believes that the variant could evade the body’s immune response, which is why it spreads so quickly.

The Danish study data published in the preprint – i.e. without review by peers – indicated that the risk of infection with BA.2 was significantly higher than with BA.1. The risk of passing on the virus is therefore also greatly increased in infected unvaccinated people, but reduced in vaccinated contact persons.

According to the latest weekly report from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the proportion of BA.2 in Germany is “still very low” in Germany at 2.3 percent in the second week of the year (week before: 1.4 percent) . The RKI writes about the subtype: “Internationally, it is observed that BA.2 spreads more than BA.1.” This applies to Denmark and the United Kingdom, for example.

Drosten said that the “ideal immunization” is complete vaccination protection with three doses of vaccine, on the basis of which one then becomes infected with the virus once or more often and thus develops such a strong immunity “without having to accept severe courses”. Anyone who has gone through this “is then really resilient for years, immune and will not reinfect themselves again,” said Drosten.

With a view to the many unvaccinated people in Germany, he repeated his warning against allowing an infection. He strongly criticized the way of thinking that an infection with one of the omicron variants could replace a vaccination and pointed to the high probability of repeated infections. That is why the calculation “of the omicron infection as a vaccination through the back door” simply does not work. (02.02.2022)

FDP Minister of Justice hopes for openings from March

In the debate about the easing of corona, Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) is promising a far-reaching withdrawal of corona measures for March. “I hope that many protective measures can be withdrawn in March,” says Buschmann Rheinische Post. The prerequisite is that the infection process develops as predicted by the Robert Koch Institute “and that the number of cases decreases again from mid-February. And it presupposes that we do not have to deal with new variants of the virus in the short term that will make the situation worse again change completely.” (02.02.2022)

Union proposes “vaccination precautionary law”.

CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt announces a “Vaccination Prevention Law” of the Union instead of a general vaccination requirement. “This means that compulsory vaccination can be an additional measure against the pandemic, but it must be adapted to the respective situation,” he says world. Decisive factors are the risk of infection developing combined with the expected burdens on the health system. “It should only be limited in time and applied to vulnerable groups or age groups.” (02.02.2022)

Biontech files US emergency use application for vaccine for children under five years old

Biontech and Pfizer’s corona vaccine could be available for children under five in the United States as early as February. The drug company filed an emergency use authorization application for the dual vaccine for children ages six months to five years with the FDA on Tuesday. The vaccine could then be available as early as the end of February. (02.02.2022)

Norway lifts most of the Corona measures

Norway is lifting most of its corona measures. From Tuesday evening at 11 p.m. there are no longer any restrictions on the serving of alcoholic beverages. According to the government, popular sports and other leisure activities can be resumed without restrictions, and cinemas, theaters and churches can be fully occupied again. Restrictions on participants will be lifted for meetings, as will the obligation to test for those entering the country.

However, the mask requirement in shops, on public transport and in other situations with possible crowds remains in place, as Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said at a press conference in Oslo. The general one-meter distance rule will also remain in force until further notice.

“Today we finally got where we can lift a lot of the infection control measures we’ve been living with over the winter,” Støre said. It is now known that the burden of disease from the omicron variant of the coronavirus is lower and that the vaccines provide good protection for many people in Norway. Therefore, many measures can be lifted, although the number of new infections is increasing rapidly. In order to remain in control, however, some measures would have to remain. The Norwegian government is aiming to lift the final restrictions by February 17 – if the situation develops as expected. (01.02.2022)

The unvaccinated can probably continue to work for the time being, despite the obligation to take care of vaccinations

According to a media report, the federal government has admitted for the first time that the occupational vaccination requirement in the healthcare system cannot be consistently implemented. Unvaccinated people should initially continue to work in hospitals and care facilities after March 15, a spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Health told the news website Business Insider.

Until the responsible health department has made the decision on a ban on entry or activity, “the employees concerned may continue to be employed,” the spokesman continued. Actually, from March 16th, all employees in nursing and medical professions must either have recovered or be fully vaccinated.

There have been doubts about the feasibility for weeks. The health authorities in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Thuringia and Berlin had already announced that they were overwhelmed with the checks required in each individual case. There are neither human nor technical resources for this. She is currently assuming that on average five to ten percent of the employees have no clear proof of vaccination or recovery or no complete vaccination protection, said Elke Bruns-Philipps, deputy chairwoman of the Federal Association of Doctors in the Public Health Service (BVÖGD). Rheinische Post. This large number of checks is not manageable.

According to the report, the Ministry of Health is planning to respond to the problem of the lack of feasibility with a new reporting system and low-threshold vaccination offers. According to this, “vaccination rate monitoring as comprehensive as possible in the mentioned facilities” is planned. The federal states should collect the vaccination rates in all medical and nursing facilities by the middle of the month and transmit them to the Federal Ministry of Health. (01.02.2022)

Kretschmann does not want to talk about easing before Easter

Baden-Württemberg’s Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) sees no chance of the corona restrictions ending at least until mid-April. He does not see a debate about exit strategies before Easter, said the head of government in Stuttgart. “We are not starting a debate about exit strategies – that would be completely inappropriate and send the completely wrong signal.”

Baden-Württemberg recently tightened rules, he said with a view to the FFP2 mask requirement in local public transport. This will not be thwarted by “unfounded exit debates”. You are still in a dramatic situation. No loosening is planned for now.

Kretschmann said that until the next prime ministers’ conference in mid-February, one would closely monitor how the situation in the hospitals was developing. There are currently many complaints from overburdened medical practices, Kretschmann said. (01.01.2022)

Nationwide incidence rises to more than 1,200

The Robert Koch Institute reports 162,613 new positive tests within 24 hours. The nationwide seven-day incidence rises to a new high of 1206.2. The previous day it was 1176.8. However, these numbers are likely to be far too low. Experts assume a high and increasing number of cases that are not recorded in the RKI data, partly because testing capacities and health authorities are at their limit in many places. In addition, some cities and districts have been reporting problems with the transmission of the number of corona cases for days. 188 more people died within a day related to the virus. This increases the number of reported deaths to 117,974. (01.02.2022)

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