Corona up-to-date: Lauterbach, Wieler and Drosten on the situation – politics

The new quarantine regulations for corona infected people and contact persons can come. After the Bundestag, the Bundesrat also approved a regulation on Friday that creates a legal framework for this. Among other things, it stipulates that triple-vaccinated contact persons of corona infected people no longer have to go into quarantine. In addition, this enables shorter quarantine times in the event of infections in order to prevent a collapse in personnel in important care areas when the number of infections increases sharply.

In the special session of the state chamber, Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) said that the pandemic had arrived at an “interface”. You’re in your third year. This raises the question of whether it will be possible to defuse the pandemic in such a way that an endemic situation with only sporadic outbreaks and few deaths is reached – or whether this opportunity will be missed. “We have to seize this opportunity and we have the means to do so. We have the means to largely end the pandemic in Germany this year.” (01/14/2022)

New highs in new infections and seven-day incidence

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reports a new high with 92,223 new corona infections after a negative record was recorded the day before. That is 35,888 more cases than on Friday a week ago, when 56,335 positive tests were reported. The nationwide seven-day incidence rises to 470.6 from 427.7 the previous day.

286 people died in connection with the virus. This increases the number of reported deaths to 115,337. So far, more than 7.83 million corona tests have been positive in Germany. (01/14/2022)

Omikron’s share in Germany increases to 73 percent

Omicron is now the predominant variant in Germany. The nationwide share is now 73.3 percent, as reported by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in its weekly report. The prevalence of the delta variant, which has dominated for a long time, has shrunk to 25.9 percent.

A week ago, the RKI had put the Omikron share in Germany at 44.3 percent. The spread is increasing in all federal states and is between eleven percent in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and 96 percent in Bremen. The fluctuations and differences also result from the different intensity of variant-specific tests in the individual federal states, the delays in laboratory diagnostic recording and transmission as well as the spread from metropolitan areas.

The RKI also reports a very high workload in the laboratories. “In order to ensure timely diagnostic care for Sars-CoV-2 patients, it is urgently necessary to prioritize testing in accordance with the national test strategy,” explains the institute. Restrictions in the test capacities are mainly staff-related, since the employees in the laboratories are also affected by the high rate of infection. (01/13/2022)

WHO recommends two more drugs for Covid-19 patients

A panel from the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the use of Eli Lilly’s drugs, as well as Glaxo Smith Kline and Vir Biotechnology, to treat Covid-19 patients. Like from an im British Medical Journal According to the published report, the WHO wants to expand the treatment options with the recommendation. According to the study, Eli Lilly’s drug baricitinib has been shown to improve the survival rate of patients in hospital and reduce the need for ventilation. According to the WHO, GSK-Vir’s antibody therapy, which has already been shown to be effective against omicron in laboratory tests, is suitable for infected patients who are highly likely to require hospitalization. (01/14/2022)

US Supreme Court blocks Biden’s “light vaccination” for companies

In the US, the Supreme Court has temporarily stopped the implementation of a vaccination or test requirement for larger companies decreed by US President Joe Biden’s government. The regulation, which was not passed by Parliament but by administrative means, and which would apply to more than 80 million workers, probably exceeds the competence of the responsible authority, the reasoning was given. This means that companies with more than 100 employees do not initially have to ensure that their employees are either fully vaccinated or regularly tested. An obligation to wear masks has also been stopped for the time being.

The regulation for companies was seen as a means of pressure from the government to persuade employees to be immunized in view of the complex tests and thus increase the vaccination rate in the USA. (01/13/2022)

Stiko now recommends corona booster vaccinations from the age of twelve

The Standing Vaccination Committee (Stiko) has generally spoken out in favor of a corona booster vaccination for children and adolescents aged twelve to 17 years. The committee recommends a so-called booster vaccination for this age group with the mRNA vaccine Comirnaty from Biontech/Pfizer “in the age-appropriate dose” of 30 micrograms and at least three months after the previous vaccination, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) said on Thursday with.

The draft decision of the recommendation now has to go through a so-called commenting procedure with the federal states and the specialist groups involved, so it is not yet a final recommendation.

The current situation with the sharp increase in the number of cases due to the omicron variant makes it necessary to expand the vaccination campaign accordingly. A booster vaccination improves the vaccination protection that decreases a few months after the basic immunization and also reduces the probability of transmission of corona infections.

So far, booster vaccinations for children and young people from the age of twelve have been handled differently in the federal states. At the end of December, Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) made it clear that children and young people between the ages of twelve and 17 are entitled to booster vaccinations “regardless of the recommendations” of Stiko. (01/13/2022)

UK omicron wave ebbs

Great Britain already seems to have passed the peak of the omicron wave. As the Wall Street Journal reported, scientists are hopeful that the omicron wave in other countries, similar to that in Great Britain, could be strong but comparatively short. A comparable pattern had previously emerged in South Africa. The number of cases there had risen rapidly for about a month before falling significantly again.

The seven-day average of new corona infections reported daily has been falling in Great Britain for about a week. The number of hospital admissions is also not increasing as much as it has recently. However, scientists warn that the development of the number of cases and hospital admissions could still be reversed, since the end of the holiday season and the start of the new school year is likely to increase the number of social contacts again for many. (01/13/2022)

Majority of all Covid-19 patients in intensive care units unvaccinated

Currently, the majority of all patients who have to be admitted to intensive care units because of a corona infection are not vaccinated. This is shown by evaluations from the intensive care register of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI). Between December 14, 2021 and January 12, 2022, almost two-thirds (62 percent, 5521 cases) of all new Covid-19 admissions with known vaccination status were unvaccinated. Around 9.6 percent (856 cases) had incomplete immune protection, i.e. recovered without further vaccination or only partially vaccinated. More than a quarter of the admissions (28.4 percent, 2535 cases) had full vaccination protection, the proportion with booster vaccination was around 5.8 percent (520 cases).

The vaccination status of patients has only been recorded in the intensive care register since mid-December 2021. All intensive care units with intensive care in Germany report daily the vaccination status of the patients newly admitted the day before. The data is recorded anonymously. (01/13/2022)

Lauterbach promotes compulsory vaccination

Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) has again advocated the introduction of a general obligation to vaccinate. That is the “safest and fastest way out of the pandemic,” said Lauterbach in the Bundestag. An introduction would make medical sense. When justifying whether it was also morally justifiable, he referred to the categorical imperative set up by the philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804).

In short, the categorical imperative reads: “Act only according to that maxim through which you can at the same time want it to become a general law.” A refusal of the vaccination offer “could never be the maxim of action for all of us,” says Lauterbach. “If we all refused to use the well-researched vaccination with few side effects to protect ourselves from death and serious illness, we would probably never be able to end the pandemic,” said the minister.

An orientation debate on the introduction of a general obligation to vaccinate is planned for the last week of January in the Bundestag. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) had announced that the SPD would then already want to present key points for a possible draft law. He himself had spoken out in the Bundestag on Wednesday for compulsory vaccination that should apply to all adults. Lauterbach himself had declared that he would not present his own application for a draft law. When voting on the general obligation to vaccinate, the usual group discipline should be abolished.

Meanwhile, there are increasing calls to introduce mandatory vaccinations quickly. The CEO of the German Hospital Society (DKG), Gerald Gaß, called for a speedy process in the newspapers of the Funke media group and said that he thought it would be too late for vaccinations to start in the fall. The DKG advocates a general obligation to have a corona vaccination from the age of 18. Christel Bienstein, chairwoman of the German professional association for nursing professions, told the Rheinische Post that employees in acute and long-term care were burned out, and that a high vaccination rate was a key aspect in order to finally protect and support them.

Minister of Health Lauterbach again promoted the booster vaccination. “Through this campaign, the wall of the omicron wave may be made a steep hill, or at least limit the height of the wall,” he said. In both cases, this saves lives and helps to protect the health system, so that cancer and heart patients can always be well cared for. (01/13/2022)

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