Pandemic restrictions have already been loosened in Germany, but the country is still dealing with a massive wave of coronavirus infections. Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) explained at a press conference on Friday what three points he sees as crucial to ending the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is not enough to wait for the weather to improve
The coronavirus pandemic is not over. Both the head of the Robert Koch Institute, Lothar Wieler, and Karl Lauterbach agree on this. The German health minister further emphasizes: “We have reached a situation where we cannot simply wait for it to pass.” In his opinion, it is not enough to wait for the weather to improve and the number of infections expected to fall at that time.
Lauterbach believes that it is now necessary to be proactive again and do something to break this wave of infections because: “we can’t leave it the way it is now.” In his opinion, following the following three principles will help to recover from the coronavirus pandemic:
1. Use hotspot legislation
At the press conference, Karl Lauterbach stressed the importance of regulations on so-called hotspots, areas that are considered outbreaks of coronavirus infection: “It is imperative that we take advantage of the hotspot regulations that came into effect with the new Infection Control Act.”
In his opinion, this law provides a good basis for taking proactive measures, as the top priority is still to protect the population from the virus. Even if restrictions have to be reinstated in some regions in the near future, it will be easier to do so. “It is important not to allow the current situation to continue,” – Lauterbach explained. Too many people die every day and there is still a danger of overloading the health care system, the German health minister stressed.
2. Appeal to unvaccinated people
The Federal Minister of Health has once again appealed to all those who have not yet been vaccinated against coronavirus. In his opinion, the risk of infection is now greater than ever before, it will be very difficult to avoid infection. This is why vaccination still makes sense: “Unvaccinated people need to realize that it is now virtually impossible for them to avoid infection. We have such a high number of illnesses that all those who are not vaccinated must expect to become infected in the next few days.”
Karl Lauterbach was referring here primarily to the many unvaccinated people in risk groups, especially those German residents who are already over 60 years of age. “Just two weeks after the first dose of the vaccine, the risk of severe illness and death drops significantly, sometimes even after just one week.” He added that even if unvaccinated people are unable to take all three doses of the vaccine in such a short period of time, they should ensure that they take at least one dose of COVID-19. In his view, a severe course of the disease is now “unnecessary” and avoidable.
3. More emphasis on second booster vaccination
The latest way to stem the current wave of coronavirus in Germany is to put more emphasis on receiving the fourth dose of the vaccine, according to the federal health minister. Lauterbach stressed that so far, the second booster vaccination has been given to too few people who qualify for it. Ninety percent of those to whom Stiko recommends a fourth dose of the vaccine have not yet done so,” the SPD politician stressed.
According to Lauterbach, not only people in this age group but also citizens under the age of 70 with risk factors should be concerned. Although Stiko has not yet issued an official recommendation for the 60-70 age group, according to the German health minister, it is only a matter of time, as a group of experts is already analyzing the situation. All people with hypertension, lung disease, heart failure, diabetes or other chronic diseases should consider taking a fourth dose of coronavirus because: “We need to act quickly now. (…) I think we could do more in this area.”
Source: www.rtl.de, www.insidegermany.co