The federal government’s Corona Expert Council believes the Coronavirus will put a strain on the country’s health system again in fall and winter. Its members want an “anticipatory preparation with short reaction times”. Karl Lauterbach’s Health Ministry is on the case.
Berlin, June 9th, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — When Olaf Scholz’ new government took over late last year, a Corona Expert Council was created. Its task is to advise the Chancellor, his ministers and the governments in Germany’s sixteen federal states, in regard to their Corona policies. This is exactly what the Council just did.
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Uniformity and Communication
Its expert members say Germany should prepare for the cold season right now. They want a legal basis for infection protection measures. According to the Corona Expert Council, the “vaccination gap”, the decreasing immunity and the Coronavirus’ evolution are aspects that will likely burden the Federal Republic’s health system substantially in fall and winter.
A central coordination of anti-Corona measures is part of the advice. So is uniformity. Since Corona hit Germany in early 2020, its federal states have had different rules. This was one of the aspects that made things more difficult than they were anyway, and harder to comprehend. An improved communication of the Corona regulations and recommendations is on the list too.
Masks and Distancing
The Council wants to limit Corona tests to patients with symptoms and suspected COVOD-19 cases. In addition, they are supposed to be used for the protection of risk groups in care homes and similar locations. Corona patients should receive antiviral medication early on, the experts say. Hospitals need to be screened for viruses, including Corona, to the opinion of the Council’s members.
For the upcoming cold season, the experts see different scenarios. A new Coronavirus variant could be popping up, one that causes severe disease progression. In this case, the return of the mandatory mask rule, distancing and possibly even contact restrictions until early 2023 could become necessary. The other scenarios are less dramatic.
According to Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, a Social Democrat (SPD) the Corona Expert Council did “an excellent job”. He said Germany needed to be prepared for any scenario. His expectation was that the health system would definitely be burdened again during the next cold season. “We will be prepared”, he vowed. One of his coalition partners is more cautious. Justice Minister Marco Buschmann, who is a member of the Free Democrats (FDP) said the Corona restrictions Germany had implemented in the past needed to be evaluated first. He made clear he opposed “a premature commitment to individual measures”.
In the meantime, Germany’s Corona infection numbers are on the rise again, after the long Pentecost weekend. The Seven Day Incidence rose to 276.9 only days after it had been below 200. According to the Robert Koch Institute, more than 77,000 new Coronavirus infections were reported in the past 24 hours. Ninety Corona patients died since yesterday.
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