Corona up-to-date: entry rules are being extended – politics

Corona rules should continue to apply to holidaymakers returning to Germany for the time being. The Federal Ministry of Health wants to extend the entry regulation, which expires this weekend, until the end of May, according to a spokesman in Berlin. Protection against an additional virus entry by travelers remains important. He initially did not provide any further information, referring to ongoing votes in the government.

In the current corona situation, it is now possible to see at shorter intervals what is adapted to the situation. For the time being, it should remain the case that everyone aged twelve and over must have 3G proof of being vaccinated, recovered or tested negative when entering Germany. The ordinance also provides for quarantine obligations for returnees from high-risk or virus variant areas. According to the corresponding list of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), however, no country is currently classified as such an area by the federal government. (04/25/2022)

Lower incidence

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported 20,084 new infections within 24 hours on Monday. That is 398 fewer cases than on Monday a week ago, when 20,482 positive tests were reported. Overall, the number of confirmed corona infections in Germany is more than 24.2 million. The nationwide seven-day incidence drops to 790.8 from 807 the previous day. Six other people died in connection with the virus. This increases the number of reported deaths to 134,185.

The infection numbers are generally only of limited significance at the moment. Experts have been assuming for some time that there will be a large number of cases not recorded by the RKI – due to overworked health authorities and because not all infected people have a PCR test done. Only these count in the statistics. That is why we use the SZ Corona Dashboard to show an average value from the reports of the past seven days, which is intended to compensate for fluctuations from day to day. You can find more information on this in the transparency blog, further data and graphics on the pandemic here. (04/25/2022)

Shanghai blocks access to buildings where people infected with the corona virus live

In China’s largest city, Shanghai, lattice fences are being erected around some residential buildings due to corona infections. Images of workers in white hazmat suits sealing apartment block entrances and cordoning off entire blocks of streets with tall green fences went viral on social media on Saturday, sparking questions and complaints from residents. According to the Reuters news agency, the authenticity of all the photos and videos could not be checked immediately. Shanghai reported 19,657 new infections on Saturday. The city has been in lockdown for more than three weeks. (04/24/2022)

Corona tests in schools are gradually being abolished

After the mask requirement has been lifted, the time for mandatory corona tests in schools is now coming to an end. As a dpa survey in the 16 federal states showed, the obligation to test has already been abolished in six states or will end at the beginning of the new week. In six countries, it expires at the latest at the end of the week at the turn of the month. Only in Berlin and Thuringia is there further testing: In Thuringia until May 6th and in Berlin “until further notice”, according to the education administration. Hamburg and Saarland have not yet made any decisions about how to deal with tests from May.

Educational unions and the German Teachers’ Association criticized the extensive end of compulsory testing. “We are confronted with the justified concern of families who have risk persons and previously ill children in their own household,” says Teachers’ Association President Heinz-Peter Meidinger. The lifting of all health protection measures is also at the expense of the graduating students, who feared missing exams or having to make up exams because of an infection. According to Meidinger, many high school graduates are currently staying at home as a precaution and canceling classes “because health protection in schools has now been reduced to zero in many cases”. The deputy chairman of the Education and Science Union (GEW), Andreas Keller, called it “negligent” to refrain from testing after the mask requirement had been abolished. This is “the last effective preventive measure”.

At the beginning of April, the mask requirement was abolished in most schools, in accordance with the requirements of the Infection Protection Act. However, Hamburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania had declared themselves hotspots and were therefore allowed to keep them. In both countries, however, the hotspot phase will expire in the next few days and with it the mask requirement. On the other hand, mandatory tests in schools were and are still legally possible throughout Germany. However, most countries do not do this. Instead, voluntary and event-related tests will be offered in the future, for example in the event of symptoms or if a school trip is imminent. (04/24/2022)

Medical associations are calling for the end of free corona citizen tests

Several medical associations are calling for an end to the generally free corona citizen tests. Tests only on occasion “would significantly reduce the number of test results to be transmitted,” said Elke Bruns-Philipps from the Federal Association of Physicians in the Public Health Service (BVÖGD). doctors newspaper. A spokesman for the Association of Accredited Laboratories in Medicine (ALM) told the newspaper: “The continuation of random tests, which also include the citizen tests, is no longer necessary from the point of view of the specialist medical laboratories.”

According to the Corona Test Ordinance, citizens without symptoms are entitled to free rapid tests. At the beginning of the week, the Pandemic Council of the German Medical Association had already judged: “People’s tests and mass tests without cause have no place in the current test concept.”

The head of the German Hospital Society, Gerald Gass, on the other hand, calls for the citizen tests to be adhered to. The incidences would give a picture of the infection process, he told the newspaper. “That’s why we continue to advocate for low-threshold test offers, on the one hand to give citizens clarity about their own corona status, on the other hand to be able to recognize early on if the infection process changes massively.” (04/22/2022)

According to the RKI, new Omicron variants are still rare in Germany

According to data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), several of the fairly new omicron sublines and mixed variants have so far been found relatively rarely or not at all in Germany. As of April 18, a total of 25 samples were detected from line BA.5, according to the RKI weekly report on Thursday evening. The proportion in a sample was therefore 0.2 percent the week before last. More recent values ​​are not yet available. BA.4 has not yet been proven. In Germany, however, the genome is only decoded in a small proportion of the positive samples.

The predominant subtype in Germany is currently BA.2, in the random sample the RKI states the proportion for the week before last at over 95 percent. It was – even better transferrable – followed on BA.1. BA.4 and BA.5 have only recently become known and are classified as of concern by the World Health Organization (WHO) as part of Omicron. According to WHO information, evidence came from South Africa and some European countries.

Overall, the RKI speaks in the report of declining trends in several corona indicators in Germany. Among other things, key figures on hospital admissions and outbreaks in facilities are decreasing. In more than 200 laboratories nationwide, fewer and fewer PCR tests have recently been carried out, on which the official statistics are based. The RKI writes that the significant drop last week was also due to the Good Friday holiday. According to the report, more than every second test was positive. Overall, the health experts continue to assess the infection pressure in the population as high. (04/22/2022)

WHO recommends Pfizer’s Covid pill for certain corona patients

The Covid 19 drug Paxlovid, which is already being used in Germany, has been given the green light by the World Health Organization (WHO). Paxlovid is recommended for patients who are not yet seriously ill but have the highest risk of hospitalization, the responsible WHO expert council reported in the journal British Medical Journal (BMJ). This includes people with previous illnesses, the elderly or those who have not been vaccinated. The Council referred to studies with almost 3100 patients. The risk of hospital admission was 85 percent lower in those treated with Paxlovid than in the group who received a dummy drug, the WHO writes in a statement.

The tablets from the US pharmaceutical company Pfizer are intended to inhibit the multiplication of the virus in the body. They contain the active ingredients nirmatrelvir and ritonavir. The drug has been conditionally approved in the EU since the end of January. Germany has ordered a million packs.

With the recommendation, the drug is on a WHO list of tested drugs. For many countries that, unlike the EU or the USA, do not have their own regulatory authority for medicinal products, this is the basis for approval without further major clarifications. The WHO is concerned that, as with the corona vaccines, rich countries will secure most of the production and that poorer countries will initially not have enough available. Pfizer aims to produce tablets for 120 million patients this year. The WHO called on Pfizer to be more transparent about production, bilateral contracts and prices. (04/22/2022)

Mask requirement in the Bundestag is eliminated

In view of the reduced number of corona infections, the precautionary measures against the virus are also falling in the Bundestag. The mask requirement and the 3-G proof as a prerequisite for participation in plenary and committee meetings will be abolished for the next week of the meeting. This was announced by Bundestag President Bärbel Bas to the MPs. “In view of the current development of the pandemic situation, I have now decided to lift the general decree at the end of April 24, 2022,” the letter says.

“Of course, everyone is free to continue to wear a mask. This still seems advisable, especially where it is not possible to keep your distance,” the SPD politician continued. MEPs could continue to order masks and self-tests themselves and settle them via their non-cash account. Until May 20, 2022, there is also the possibility to be tested on the test routes provided by the Bundestag administration.

In the Bundestag, the 2-G-plus rule had temporarily applied to the 736 members of parliament, their employees and the administration of the parliament. Those who were only double-vaccinated or recovered needed an additional negative test to enter the Chamber or committees. Only those who were boosted or recovered with a double vaccination did not need this. In addition, FFP2 masks were mandatory. MEPs who were neither vaccinated nor recovered could only follow the sessions from a designated tribune. Almost only AfD MPs sat there. (04/21/2022)

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