“The pandemic will slow down seasonally” – says Germany’s health minister. But don’t count on an “almost coronavirus-free” summer.
“Coronavirus-free summer” won’t happen
Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach expects the coronavirus situation to improve over the summer, but doesn’t think a “covid-free summer” can be expected. “The pandemic will slow down seasonally,” – the SPD politician said on Thursday while being a speaker at the “Ludwig-Erhard Summit” conference in Gmund am Tegernsee.
There will be few cases of disease, but not like last year, that the summer was “almost crown-free”. The current Omikron variant is too contagious, even in good weather. Summer should be used to prepare for the fall season.
Lauterbach confirmed that the number of new cases is currently underestimated. In fact, there are probably twice as many cases as officially reported. New research has also suggested underestimating reported death rates in developed countries. In fact, they may be higher by 1.8 or 1.9. If this is indeed the case, it is reasonable to assume that well over 200,000 people may have died from Covid-19 in Germany over the past two years.
There is a need to speak “inconvenient truths”
The minister once again expressed concern that more waves of illnesses could be expected in the fall. New variants of the virus are also appearing at shorter and shorter intervals. He referred to the subvariant circulating in the United States spreading much faster than the BA2 variant that dominates the country. One also has to reckon with variants that are as resistant to vaccination as Omicron but penetrate as deeply into lung tissue as the Delta variant.
“I hope that doesn’t happen,” Lauterbach said. At the same time, he defended his position of speaking such “inconvenient truths,” even if it is met with criticism. “I get paid to present the truth in a way that is neither exaggerated nor unrealistically optimistic,” he said.
Lauterbach, when he says something like this, does so “to be well prepared.” New variants can now be identified and tested for mutations very quickly.