Status: 02/23/2021 1:16 p.m.
The tug-of-war over possible easing of the corona measures continues. While doctors are warning of a third wave, associations are calling for open perspectives. Neither the number of infections nor the incidence point in a clear direction.
At first, the incidence values decreased over the course of weeks, but rose again in the past few days. Today, according to the Robert Koch Institute, the seven-day incidence fell slightly to 60.5 – yesterday it was 61. In comparison: four weeks ago the RKI had recorded a value of 107.6. However, 3883 new infections were reported in the past 24 hours, a further increase compared to the number of cases from a week ago. In addition, the RKI recorded 415 more deaths, last Tuesday there were 528.
On the one hand, the easing debate is picking up speed thanks to the current figures. Others warn against a third wave. The Rhineland-Palatinate Prime Minister Malu Dreyer takes a middle path and demands a concrete step-by-step plan from the federal and state governments out of the corona restrictions. The SPD politician told the “Rheinische Post” that any relaxation would have to be linked to “clear incidence values, test options and the vaccination rate”.
Define targets for more acceptance
Such a “perspective plan” is not synonymous with a quick return to normalcy. “But we need specific and binding targets that people can use for orientation. That also increases acceptance if we have to extend the measures.” In addition, the companies urgently need “planning options”.
The Governing Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, made a similar statement. Very many people would accept it if they “know what will be possible in three or four weeks,” said the SPD politician in the Morning magazine from ARD and ZDF. The economy in particular could then adjust to the opening. “
The point is to agree on the numbers or protective measures from which you can trust yourself to do something.” Simply opening things overnight is a risk that nobody can take, “as long as we don’t know how the mutants behave,” said Müller.
Corona situation: Discussion about further easing
Kirsten Girschick, ARD Berlin, daily show 12:00, 23.2.2021
Companies want perspective
Retail, hospitality and cultural industries, among others, want to reopen because they fear that they will not survive a longer lockdown. The German Hotel and Restaurant Association (Dehoga) demanded the rapid development of plans in the “Rheinische Post”.
The hospitality industry now has “a right to a realistic opening perspective in the coming weeks,” said Dehoga Chief Executive Ingrid Hartges.
Laschet and Brinkhaus: Be careful with loosening
In contrast, North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Armin Laschet and Union parliamentary group leader Ralph Brinkhaus urged caution. “At the moment openings are only possible to absorb severe damage,” said the CDU chairman in Düsseldorf. That’s why ten countries decided to open their primary schools. However, it is still not foreseeable what effect the virus variants will have. In any case, the expected decline in the new corona infection rate to 50 or 35 per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days did not occur.
Brinkhaus advocated proceeding with caution. “Because one thing would be very, very bad: If we loosen up now and then have to take the step back in three or four weeks. And then have to go into lockdown again,” said the CDU politician in the daily topics. A “in and out” with the corona restrictions would not be good, so it should only go in one direction. “And that’s why every step must be taken with caution.”
Ralph Brinkhaus, CDU / CSU parliamentary group leader, on opening strategies
Daily topics 10:30 p.m., February 22, 2021
Is the third wave coming?
The German Society for Internal Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine issued an urgent warning in March against major loosening. Its chairman Christian Karagiannidis told the “Rheinische Post”, according to calculations, the vaccinations were not yet fast enough to prevent a third corona wave. The federal and state governments must be careful not to “lose the game in extra time”.
According to the SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach, the third wave of the coronavirus is already unstoppable. “We are not yet in the middle of the third wave of infections, but it has started and can no longer be stopped,” he told the “Passauer Neue Presse”. Lauterbach therefore assumes that opening steps will have to be postponed. The seven-day incidence of 35 targeted by the federal and state governments can no longer be achieved in many places.
Today the deliberations of a working group with Chancellor Helge Braun and the heads of the state chancelleries begin. The next conference of Chancellor Angela Merkel with the heads of government of the federal states is on Wednesday next week. Merkel had apparently not completely ruled out a step-by-step plan for a gradual exit at a CDU presidium meeting yesterday, but at the same time warned to be very careful with opening steps.
The lockdown, which has been in effect since mid-December, is currently limited to the Sunday after next.