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Germany’s Corona Expert Council Demands Contact Restrictions Because of Omicron

In Germany, experts and politicians are worried about Omicron. Chancellor Scholz’s expert council wants tighter rules. But his Health Minister Lauterbach ruled out a Christmas lockdown.

Berlin, December 20th, 2021 (The Berlin Spectator) — The German government’s new Corona expert council just demanded immediate contact restrictions because of the Omicron variant of the Coronavirus which has been spreading death and illness for two years now. There was “a need for action in the coming days”, the panel said according to reports in several German-language media. In order to control the infection situation, measures needed to be prepared.

‘New Dimension’

The Expert Council said the far more infectious Omicron mutant constituted “a new dimension”. Its members believe the doubling time of the Omicron Incidence in Germany might be two to four days at this stage, just like in the Netherlands. According to the Robert Koch Institute, the number of registered Omicron infections in Germany was 324 last week, but the actual number could be a lot higher. Since this new variant infects vaccinated and recovered persons too, the Corona expert council fears an “explosive spread” of infections. Germany’s hospitals are already working on their limits, which is why this could cause huge problems.

In an interview with the ARD radio and TV network, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said Germany would not have a lockdown for Christmas. But he predicted a fifth Corona wave. Lauterbach also conceded Omicron could not be stopped in Germany because there already were too many cases. He stressed the importance of booster vaccinations, especially for the most vulnerable persons.

Corona Conference

Because of the dangerous situation, Chancellor Olaf Scholz, some of his Ministers and the First Ministers from Germany’s sixteen federal states were going to hold yet another Corona conference this week. It is supposed to happen as soon as tomorrow. Several First Ministers already called for strict measures designed to slow down Omicron. In the neighboring Netherlands, where one in four new Corona infections were Omicron cases on Friday, a new lockdown was just put in place.

In spite of the increasing danger, 12,000 Corona deniers and other conspiracy theorists staged a protest against the German government’s Corona policies in Nuremberg on Sunday. In the same city, the extremist right-wing ‘AfD’ rallied with 2,000 people, including some of the party’s most famous MPs. They said unvaccinated persons were made “scapegoats”. More extremists and Corona deniers demonstrated in Berlin, Cottbus, Frankfurt, Freiburg, Karlsruhe and Düsseldorf. In the capital, the protest had been forbidden beforehand. The police ended it just after it began.

Decreasing Numbers

For now, Germany’s Corona infection numbers are decreasing. According to the Robert Koch Institute, 16,086 new ones were registered in the past 24 hours. It is the lowest number since November 8th. Last Monday, there were some 21,700 new cases. The Seven Day Incidence increased a little. It now stands at 316.0.

All relevant Corona numbers for Germany, and daily Corona updates, can be found in our Corona chronology.

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