From Monday, the mask will no longer be mandatory in Berlin primary schools
BERLIN, 3 Oct. (DPA / EP) –
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has reported this Sunday an incidence of the coronavirus of 64.2 per 100,000 inhabitants, a slight decrease compared to the previous day (64.4), although above the figure of a week ago (61 ,4).
In total, the 16 German federal states have reported 6,164 new cases detected during the day on Saturday, below the figure of the previous Saturday (7,774). In addition, there have been nine deaths in 24 hours, compared to 28 a week ago.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the RKI has reported 4,252,300 verified cases and 93,786 deaths. Actual data could be higher for cases without proven evidence.
As for new patients admitted per 100,000 inhabitants in the last seven days, the data used to apply restrictions in Germany is 1.65, the same figure as last week.
END OF THE MASK IN BERLIN SCHOOLS
Given these data, the authorities estimate that the virus seems to be under control and are studying the lifting of some restrictions. Thus, starting this Monday, primary school students will not have to wear a mask in Berlin, a measure applauded by the federal Family Minister, Christine Lambrecht.
However, more than a thousand people have signed a petition to keep the mask. “The mask is a lesser evil given the possible damage caused by contagion. Our children under twelve have no other protection,” explained the person responsible for the petition, Julia A. Noack, in statements to DPA.
Noack has argued that it is virtually impossible to keep your distance with dozens of students sitting in classrooms for hours. “Without the mask it is impossible to avoid contagion,” he pointed out, while rejecting as unsustainable the argument that COVID-19 does not affect children.
“There are serious infections. They are more infrequent, fortunately, but they do exist. And above all, even mild infections have demonstrable health consequences and we still do not know their long-term reach,” he added.
INCREASE IN RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS
Meanwhile, the German Association of Pediatricians and Adolescent Physicians has warned of an unusual increase in respiratory infections in children since the end of the summer, especially among those under six years of age.
“The infections are catching up,” explained Jakob Maske, spokesman for the association in statements to DPA. Due to the closures of day care centers and other measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus during the past winter and spring, the children did not have contact with certain pathogens.
Viruses such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are especially dangerous for premature babies and children with previous illnesses in the first year of life.
Consequently, German doctors are concerned about providing enough care this fall and winter to come, given that, according to the spokesperson, it is already very difficult to admit small patients as interns in children’s hospitals. Maske has warned that there are not enough nursing staff specialized in pediatric care.
Israel did report more widespread outbreaks of RSV among children last May, as did the United States, Australia and Japan.
For this reason, the RKI warned in summer about a possible similar situation in Germany with the arrival of the coldest season. Thus, the RKI has reported that in September German hospitals registered twice the number of admissions of children aged one to four years with respiratory infections each week than in the years before the pandemic.