Bavaria: The last corona rules are expiring – Bavaria

Exactly three years to the day after the state government set up its first Corona crisis team, Head of State Florian Herrmann (CSU) speaks of a “break”. This Wednesday it expires, the Bavarian Infection Protection Measures Ordinance. 35 letters, a complex term, but by no means as complex as the content of the regulation was over long stretches of the pandemic. The Corona rules were changed 87 times, bans were imposed and canceled, exceptions were made and collected. “The bottom line” was that the pandemic policy was successful, says Herrmann on Tuesday.

Line underneath? Not at all, thinks Martin Hagen. The FDP parliamentary group leader thinks it’s wrong to “pat yourself on the back” and put a lid on the pandemic. Hagen thinks there is a lot to work through. He speaks of the careless handling of fundamental rights, the wrong treatment of children and young people, and the fact that the government listened to the wrong advisors and accepted a division in society. He is “not about making a statement,” says Hagen. But about lessons for future crises.

The FDP is not alone in this. All opposition parties in the state parliament would like the Corona policy to be reviewed. “I think self-reflection combined with self-criticism is appropriate,” says infectiologist Clemens Wendtner, who treated Germany’s first corona patient and was one of the advisers to Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU). During the pandemic, “sometimes there was the impression that we had whispered everything in his ear, but that wasn’t the case,” says Wendtner about his role in Söder’s advisory group. And: “We had many good meetings, but there were also decisions that were made very suddenly and abruptly by politicians alone.”

The curfews, the school closures, the exclusion of the unvaccinated from areas of public life. In order to work through all of this, FDP man Hagen would like a commission of inquiry made up of members of parliament and experts, but at the federal level, because the issue “does not only affect Bavaria”. Toni Schuberl (Greens), on the other hand, wants the Bavarian Corona resolutions to be “evaluated” in Bavaria – publicly, among the members of the state parliament. In addition, you can bring in experts from other areas of society. The AfD also wants to deal explicitly with the Bavarian decisions, in the form of a commission of inquiry at state level. It’s about “ensuring justice with regard to border crossings through government measures,” says Andreas Winhart.

Susann Enders, health policy spokeswoman for the Free Voters, recently apologized for decisions that had been made conscientiously, “but in retrospect turned out to be wrong”. Ruth Waldmann (SPD) would also like an apology, from Prime Minister Söder. The state government had to admit that it was wrong about some decisions. An “honest analysis” is needed instead of “simply saying: Bavaria is in a great position for the next pandemic”.

Infectiologist Wendtner finds that some measures were “not logical in themselves”, that, for example, mask regulations outdoors had to be “critically examined”. With a view to the school closures, he also thinks that “there should have been more warning voices”.

The CSU considers an inquiry commission to be “unnecessary”

And what does the CSU say? An inquiry commission is “unnecessary and only causes bureaucratic effort,” says her health policy spokesman Bernhard Seidenath. We already know “what was not going optimally”, such as a complete ban on visiting clinics, and the closures of schools or daycare centers “should only be the last resort in a future fight against a pandemic”. Instead of reappraisal, one should rather invest the effort in “combating the shortage of skilled workers”. For Head of State Chancellery Herrmann, there is also “no reason” to set up any commissions. Science may already be doing this itself. From his point of view, the state government acted “pragmatically” and “responsibly” in an “unprecedented situation”.

For the state government, there is really a line under the pandemic if the obligation to test when visiting nursing homes will no longer apply this Wednesday and more masks will disappear from everyday life in Bavaria. Nursing home residents no longer have to wear them and the employees of nursing homes, clinics and practices can also take them off. Only visitors to homes and healthcare facilities must wear the protection until April 7, a federal rule.

Bottom line, because Corona has not disappeared: 16,236 people are according to the Bavarian State Office for Health and Food Safety currently suffering from the virus. 217 of them are being treated in intensive care units. But unlike in winter 2021/22, there is no longer a risk of an emergency. At that time, there were more than 1,000 corona patients in Bavarian intensive care units, so many that they had to be flown out of the overcrowded wards, sometimes as far as Kiel. In those days, up to 300 patients died in Germany every day, almost a jumbo jet crash a day. Among them 30-year-olds, otherwise healthy patients. A very stressful time, says Gernot Marx, Vice President of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI).

People are still dying from Corona, in Germany around 30 a day, mostly old to very old people, many of whom were already weak or previously ill. Almost two thirds of the Covid patients in the intensive care units in Bavaria are over 70 years old. The majority of the population is no longer seriously ill, says Marx: “Corona is therefore no longer a problem in the intensive care units.”

source site