Lauterbach: Covid situation still critical

(GermanPolicy.com) – Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) warned on Friday against underestimating the current situation in view of the Corona pandemic. The pandemic is not over, and in terms of the number of cases, the situation is “objectively much worse than the atmosphere” within the population. 200 to 250 people are currently dying of Corona every day, and the number will probably continue to rise in the coming weeks since the Omikron variant of the Coronavirus does not entail only mild symptoms. In addition, in many cases, there are long-term effects of an infection. Lauterbach called on the German states to prepare for the implementation of the new Infection Protection Act in a timely manner.

Hotspots


According to the new regulations, the Federal States will soon be allowed to identify hotspots and lay out regulations that may not only affect cities or regions, but also entire Federal States. Due to the need to formulate the regulation in a legally secure manner, these rules would have to be linked to the burdens of clinics in Germany or to Covid outbreaks due to more dangerous virus variants – such as the particularly easily transmissible Omicron subtype BA.2. In addition to the framework law of the German Bundestag, there is also a need for a legal basis to be created by the parliaments in the Federal States. If they identify a “concrete risk of a dynamically spreading infection situation,” they will continue to be able to impose conditions for certain hotspots.

Lauterbach said on Thursday that there was a need for a significant improvement in vaccination readiness for the fall season. Otherwise there will be a higher number of deaths due to Covid-19. One should not accept such consequences. Lauterbach warned that people are becoming more carefree while the Omicron variant BA2 prevailed.

FDP speaks of a “very good compromise”


Referring to the new law, Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) said on Wednesday that “a very good compromise had been found,” while Lauterbach emphasized that in summer, even with good weather, the number of infections could again increase due to many contacts and the declining vaccination protection. According to Lauterbach, the law that is now to be passed offers “good protection” for the population. In the future, measures should only take effect if actually necessary.

The health policy spokeswoman for the FDP in the Bundestag, Christine Aschenberg-Dugnus, had earlier emphasized that she rejected comprehensive rules, but could still imagine individual protective measures to protect risk groups. Buschmann justified the end of general everyday restrictions by saying that fundamental rights should not be permanently restricted. The Green Party leader Ricarda Lang, on the other hand, warned against loosening the protective measures too much from 20 March onward.
The rules in force until March 20 are to remain binding until 2 April. The new law, in turn, will be limited to 23 September, according to Lauterbach.

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