Pandemic: Lauterbach for negative test after shortened corona isolation

Lauterbach for a negative test after the shortened corona isolation

Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach had withdrawn an initially planned end to the obligation to isolate. Photo: Carsten Koall/dpa

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Most of the state Corona everyday requirements have fallen. In the future, the mandatory isolation should not last as long if you are infected. And what about final free tests?

There are further easings in the Corona crisis: The prescribed isolation for infected people is to be reduced to five days, as the federal and state health ministers agreed in principle. However, official orders should remain.

Corona is not an illness like the flu or a cold, where you can decide for yourself whether you go to work infected, said Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach on Friday on ARD. The SPD politician spoke out in favor of a final test “at least as an urgent recommendation”. In Hamburg, the last nationwide, even stricter everyday corona requirements will be over as of this Saturday.

A recommendation from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and the Federal Ministry of Health for the future isolation rules is to be presented at the beginning of next week. The specific implementation is then up to the federal states. So far, sequestrations have usually lasted ten days and can be ended prematurely at the earliest after seven days if the test is negative.

The federal and state ministers have now agreed on five days and referred to increasing immunity in the population and milder courses of the disease with the omicron variant. A quarantine for contact persons of infected people should only be urgently recommended, as it was said after the consultation. Several countries are already making headway in shortening the isolation period.

But self-test strongly recommended

Lauterbach said on ARD about the isolation of infected people: “I personally believe that at the end of five days – that’s a very short time – at least a self-test should be strongly recommended.” Because you know that many are still positive after the fifth day, which could then infect others. In general, it makes a big difference whether citizens know whether they absolutely have to stay at home or whether they are free to decide. The health authorities would also be better at enforcing the orders if the number of cases, which were still high, fell. At the beginning of April, Lauterbach took back an initially announced end of the obligation to isolate.

The German Foundation for Patient Protection warned: “Not politics but the virus and the infection must determine the protective measures.” The federal and state governments buried this principle by shortening the isolation. “That’s why at least the free test must be stipulated,” said board member Eugen Brysch. The chairman of the general practitioners’ association, Ulrich Weigeldt, spoke in the newspapers of the Funke media group in favor of a “pragmatic approach” to the isolation rules. “The message must be simple: anyone who has a positive test or shows symptoms should stay at home and avoid contact with other people.”

According to the RKI, the seven-day incidence in Germany has now fallen to 758.5 ​​- after 826.0 reported new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days the day before and 733.4 a week ago. The most recent development is therefore difficult to assess. In the two weeks before and after Easter, more cases were probably not recorded, and there were late reports. The RKI states that key figures for hospital admissions continue to decrease. Overall, however, there is still a high “infection pressure” with more than 750,000 reported cases per week.

The specifications also fall in Hamburg

Hamburg is the last federal state to end existing stricter protection requirements at the weekend. The city-state and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania were the only countries to have used a legal “hotspot” clause for regions with a critical pandemic situation for several weeks. From Saturday you can go shopping in the Hanseatic city again without a state mask requirement. FFP2 masks still have to be worn on buses, trains, clinics and nursing homes. Masks are still mandatory nationwide on long-distance trains and planes. Regardless of state requirements, there are also further protection rules with mask requirements in many places, for example in cultural institutions.

Lauterbach said on the Phoenix television station about the general situation: “The mood is felt to be very good, but the situation is not quite as good because a lot of people are also becoming seriously ill and dying.” In addition, more and more virus variants are now coming. Maybe they aren’t that dangerous. But it could also be one of them that combines the contagiousness of the omicron variant with the severe course of a delta variant. He recently called this “somewhat exaggerated” a possible “killer variant”. “You can argue about the term. But you have to call things by their names.” It is one scenario out of many.


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