Coronavirus: German experts plead to limit social contact without delay

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BERLIN (Reuters) – The Robert Koch Institute, an infectious disease organization, on Tuesday recommended imposing “maximum restrictions on social contact” without delay to tackle a fifth wave of variant infections Omicron of the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19.

The organization also recommended limiting travel for compelling reasons, ensuring a sufficient number of free coronavirus tests available and accelerating the vaccination campaign.

Federal and state leaders are due to meet later today to decide on new measures, which could include restrictions for those vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19. The hypothesis of containment on a national scale seems however excluded.

Janosch Dahmen, health expert for the Green Party, on ARD television called on the population to get tested before the holidays and to limit family reunions to the closest members.

He also indicated that the leaders could reconvene during the holidays if further measures were necessary.

In addition, the German Standing Committee on Immunization (STIKO) announced on Tuesday reducing the recommended time between the second vaccine dose and the booster dose with an mRNA vaccine to three months for anyone aged 18 and over.

According to recent research, a booster dose of messenger RNA vaccine would provide greater protection against the new Omicron variant.

The Robert Koch Institute reported on Tuesday 23,428 new cases of infection and 462 deaths linked to COVID-19, bringing the total number of people linked to the virus in the country to 108,814.

(Report Miranda Murray; French version Dina Kartit, edited by Blandine Hénault)

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