Corona tightening possible
Expert council for preparing new measures
The omicron wave is currently leading to increasing numbers of infections nationwide. The expert council of the federal government recommends preparing for possible tightening. If the situation worsens, the new protective measures should “be able to be implemented without delay,” according to the panel’s experts.
Due to the rapid spread of the corona variant Omicron, the expert council of the federal government is calling for preparations for possible further steps. “The highly dynamic infection process currently requires the maintenance and strict implementation of the previous measures,” says a statement published on Saturday evening. If, as a result of further increasing incidences, critical levels are reached, for example in terms of hospital admissions, further infection control measures could become necessary.
“These should therefore now be prepared in such a way that they can be implemented without delay.” Both contact restrictions and booster vaccinations are necessary to slow down the dynamics of the current wave and to protect the health system and critical infrastructure, according to the unanimous recommendation of the 19 council members. It is therefore important to intensify the booster campaign.
Due to the existing contact reductions and the prudent behavior of the citizens, the internationally observed steep increase in the number of infections in Germany was initially slowed down. However, the Expert Council expects a further increase. At the top, seven-day incidences “of several thousand could be reached regionally”. The extent of the hospital burden will depend crucially on the incidences in unvaccinated adults and those over 50 years of age. These are still comparatively low, but infections have been entered in the group of older people.
The hospitalization rate is lower than expected for the Delta variant, but would have to be around 10 times lower than last winter in order to compensate for the expected high number of cases and not to overload the health system. Such a strong reduction is currently not to be expected despite vaccinations.
“Accordingly, if the incidence continues to rise, a large number of hospital admissions are to be expected,” writes the committee. With an increase in basic immunity in the population and a decrease in the number of new infections and hospitalization rates, the contact restrictions should be gradually reduced again. In the long term, it is urgently necessary “to close the remaining immunity gaps in society through vaccinations, as otherwise strong waves of infection and disease are to be expected in cycles.”