The German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (Divi) has spoken out in favor of reinstating the law on epidemic emergencies in Germany. There is now a need for nationwide measures to restrict contact, if necessary also through a renewed temporary lockdown, said Divi President Gernot Marx at a press conference. With a view to the new virus mutant Omikron alone, it is now important to limit contacts as much as possible. “I think we are well advised to react immediately and comprehensively,” says Marx. The clinics would have to be saved from overload, which also means that all medically unnecessary operations would have to be postponed in order to keep intensive care capacities free.
Marx again pleaded for the introduction of the general compulsory vaccination for adults. “We have changed our mind about vaccination,” he explains. Because the vaccinations did not lead to the desired result on a voluntary basis. Even before the conference, Marx stressed on ZDF that around a million booster vaccinations were needed per day in order not to break the current fourth corona wave, but to be able to prevent a fifth and sixth.
“It is really a threatening situation,” said Marx during the conference regarding the situation in the intensive care units. Currently around 4,600 patients in Germany with Covid-19 diseases would have to receive intensive care. In the past week alone, 1,400 new patients were added. The Divi-Mediziner expect the wave to peak before Christmas. Then around 6,000 patients would have to be cared for, while at the same time around 4,000 fewer intensive care beds would be available than in the previous year due to the nursing emergency. Marx warns that the ventilation beds have fallen from 12,000 a year ago to 9,000. “Because we lack the nursing staff in every nook and cranny.”
The relocation system currently still guarantees that the gold standard of medical care can still be maintained, emphasizes Karl-Georg Kanz, district coordinator for relocations in the administrative district of Upper Bavaria. Divi President Marx, however, paints a precarious picture of the situation, especially in Saxony and Bavaria. In Bavaria, 30 percent of the intensive care beds are occupied by corona patients, in Saxony 40 percent. Current studies have shown that if the occupancy rate is more than 50 percent, the mortality of the patients increases. For this reason, measures must also be taken regionally, above all.
“We are not in a position to be able to rule out anything. Nobody wants a lockdown,” said Marx. If the clinics are full, this can no longer be avoided. It is up to us how our Christmas party turns out. ”But Marx also emphasizes:“ We see the special obligation to keep schools and daycare centers open. ”Closures should only take place if absolutely necessary. (01.12.2021)
Germany receives vaccine for children earlier than planned
The corona vaccinations for children may start earlier than expected. Germany and the other EU countries will receive the children’s vaccine from Biontech / Pfizer on December 13th, one week earlier than previously planned. The delivery date for the vaccine for five to eleven year olds applies to all EU countries, said the Federal Ministry of Health.
The delivery was originally scheduled for December 20th. The manufacturer has promised the new delivery date, said the Managing Minister of Health Jens Spahn. In view of the current pandemic, this is good news for parents and children. Many waited longingly for it.
In Germany there are around 4.5 million children in this age group. Spahn had said that the 2.4 million vaccine doses should be enough for the start, and there should be more deliveries in 2022. According to the government, 46.1 percent of the 12 to 17 age group have been fully vaccinated so far.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved Biontech’s children’s vaccine last week. The Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) had recently announced that it would finalize a recommendation on Covid-19 vaccination of children by the end of December, if possible by the start of delivery of the vaccine to the federal states. Stiko boss Thomas Mertens recently emphasized that the role of children in fighting pandemics was overemphasized by some. When the vaccine was approved by the EU for those aged twelve and over in May, Stiko initially only recommended vaccinations for adolescents with previous illnesses. It was only in August that she recommended this to everyone aged twelve and over and referred to a broader database. (01.12.2021)
Nationwide incidence falls for the second time in a row
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reports 67 186 new infections within 24 hours. That is 302 cases more than on Wednesday a week ago when 66,884 were reported. The seven-day incidence drops for the second time in a row to 442.9 from 452.2 the previous day. In the previous weeks, the value had risen daily. It indicates how many people per 100,000 population have contracted the coronavirus in the past seven days. 446 other people died linked to the virus within 24 hours. This increases the number of reported deaths within one day to 101,790. In total, more than 5.9 million corona tests have so far been positive in Germany. (01.12.2021)
RKI boss Wieler: The extent of the fourth wave can only be assessed in spring
According to the President of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the full extent of the fourth corona wave in Germany should only become clear in a few months. “We will only see in the spring how bad this fourth wave really turned out,” said RKI boss Lothar Wieler of the German press agency. For example, blood donation examinations or population-representative samples will show how high the proportion of people is who have already developed antibodies against corona – be it through vaccination or infection. In this way, among other things, the extent of undetected cases can be better assessed.
“The higher the proportion of people with antibodies in the spring, the better it looks for us,” said Wieler, referring to the hoped-for build-up of basic immunity in the population. At the end of 2020, when vaccination had not yet started, only about two percent of the population had the corresponding antibodies, said Wieler. “That said, we were very successful at containment.”
Much has been achieved with the now large number of vaccinated people in the population. “We are of course already far. This is now the second winter season. We know from previous influenza pandemics that there were usually two to three very strong waves of illness before the events leveled off.”
However, new variants or changes to existing variants could strongly influence the further course. The global success of measures is important “because we are just seeing again that containment measures can only buy us some time”. Preventing the spread of new or changed variants is extremely difficult.
In view of the still existing vaccination gap in Germany, the course of next winter also depends on what is done now. “If many people still do not have basic immunity, we could have another big wave next winter. The best would be if everyone who can be vaccinated can be vaccinated. Then we still have this virus in our country, but the percentage the seriously ill next winter would be much less. ” (01.12.2021)
Future Justice Minister Buschmann wants to make vaccinations subject to a fine
The designated Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) assumes that the violation of a general obligation to vaccinate against the coronavirus, should the Bundestag decide soon, would be punished with a fine. “If it came to a general compulsory vaccination, there would be a broad consensus among constitutional lawyers that it would not be permissible to force people to vaccinate,” he told the editorial network Germany. “Presumably one would treat the violation of the vaccination requirement like an administrative offense and attach a fine to it.” (01.12.2021)
City of Düsseldorf: First Omikron case confirmed
According to the city, a first case of the new Omikron variant of the corona virus has been confirmed in Düsseldorf. It is a person who entered from South Africa on November 21 and had contact there with a case that has now tested positive, as the city announced on Tuesday evening.
The person who had entered the country had himself tested on November 25 because of symptoms – the result was positive. The investigation for virus variants showed abnormalities that spoke against a delta variant. “A follow-up test was performed on November 27th and brought straight to the university clinic for sequencing,” it said. The sequencing was not successful because of the low viral load.
Therefore, another test was carried out on November 29th. “In this smear, the viral load was high enough to unequivocally identify the Omikron variant with sequencing,” said a city spokeswoman when asked by the dpa. The virologists at the university clinic had transmitted: “Yes, it is Omikron.”
Oliver Keppler, board member at the Max von Pettenkofer Institute of the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, assumes that there may already be “a few hundred cases” in Germany in which people have become infected with the Omikron variant. He considers a larger undiscovered omicron spread in Germany to be unlikely. (01.12.2021)
In the future, dentists and pharmacists will also vaccinate
At a conference call, the Executive Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), her likely successor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and the prime ministers of the federal states discussed the corona situation. Now a general compulsory vaccination is approaching. A decision to prepare for this measure should be made on Thursday, announced North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst. Then a new prime ministerial conference is to take place.
Scholz and several prime ministers spoke out in favor of the general compulsory vaccination. It should apply from February, Scholz said according to reports. The vote in the Bundestag should take place without group pressure.
In order to vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible, pharmacists and dentists will also be allowed to participate in the vaccination campaign in addition to the vaccination centers and resident doctors, announced Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) after the talks. Saxony-Anhalt’s Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff also named veterinarians. The federal and state governments plan to make 30 million first, second and booster vaccinations possible by Christmas.
The top politicians are planning tougher measures such as additional contact restrictions for unvaccinated people to combat the corona pandemic. The introduction of a 2-G obligation in retail and a general mask requirement in schools could also come. Details should be worked out in the next few days.
In the negotiations, the SPD side apparently showed itself ready to tighten the recently amended Infection Protection Act again. The federal government should examine what needs to be added so that the highly infection countries would have an appropriate toolbox available in the future. Even after December 15th, the measures should be possible.
The full football stadiums from last weekend were also an issue in the group of Merkel, Scholz and the Prime Minister. You don’t want to see that again this week, Scholz said according to reports. Söder announced that they had agreed, but had not yet taken a decision. However, he announced that there should be no spectators in the stadiums in Bavaria by the end of the year. Ghost games are also threatening nationwide. “One can assume that the Bundesliga will continue to play without spectators,” said Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU). That is the right decision. “(30.11.2021)
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Corona current: Divi calls for stricter measures