A value at which the federal and state governments promised comprehensive easing at their last summit. If the daycare centers and schools and, from March 1st, the hairdressers finally opened, shops and much more could soon follow. So hope.
This was fueled by the fact that the number of new infections and the incidence value had skyrocketed in a few weeks. While the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported a seven-day incidence of 198 shortly before Christmas, it was over 100 for the last time on January 27th. The RKI reported the value on February 1st 91, on February 14th it was only 57.
The first predictions made the rounds: Couldn’t you have cracked 50 on March 1st? And could it not suddenly happen very quickly with the relaxation?
The strong downward trend has stopped for the time being.
The ir share of new infections is already over 20 percent.
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The target mark is thus – unlike a week ago – moving further and further into the distance. According to data that the daily mirror compiles from the health authorities, currently just 159 districts or urban districts have a seven-day incidence of less than 50. Of these, only 63 are below the value of 35.
The far larger part – namely 242 districts or District-free cities – count more than 50 new corona cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days. About 64 percent of Germany’s population lives in these.
The discussion about this one value is moving these days other indicators in the background, which are at least as relevant for the further development of the pandemic and possible easing prospects. An overview.
The situation in the hospitals:
“That was the most critical situation since there was intensive medical treatment.” Gernot Marx, President of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI), dropped this sentence at a joint press conference with Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn at the end of January.
He was referring to January 3rd, when a sad high was reached. At that time, according to the DIVI intensive care register, 5,762 people in Germany were in intensive care. Marx spoke of extreme stress for doctors and nurses – both physically and mentally.
The situation in the clinics is now much better than at the beginning of the year, which of course is related to the overall decline in the number of new infections in recent weeks. Due to the contagion phase and the symptoms of Covid 19 disease, which often only worsen in the second week, a trend in the hospitals only shows with delay.
The situation has eased noticeably compared to the peak of the second wave,” said the designated managing director of the German Hospital Society (DKG), Gerald Gaß, recently to “Welt”.
“That still requires increased protection against infection and great attention, but we are away from this maximum exposure. That makes me very satisfied, ”continued Gaß. “We are now at a point where we can say: We are not overloaded.”
Gaß sees the virus mutants calmly: “Even if the numbers suddenly rise here too – which I don’t believe – we could react quickly,” said the DKG managing director. “In an emergency, we can postpone operations at short notice and vacate up to 5,000 intensive care beds within three to seven days.”
He spoke of the great gain in knowledge of the hospitals. It was not only possible to protect the health system from overload. “Our doctors have taken an enormous learning curve in the care of Covid patients. So when it comes to the question of which medication and which therapies can be used to prevent severe disease or avert ventilation. ”
Gaß therefore sees good opportunities for loosening: “We could live in this situation with an incidence of 50 or 70 and allow loosening without the clinics being overloaded.”
The President of the German Society for Internal Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, Christian Karagiannidis, sees it differently. In the “Rheinische Post” on Tuesday, he opposed loosening the requirements considerably in March.
The federal and state governments now have to be careful not to “lose the game in extra time”. He warns of a third corona wave if there is a return to only a slight lockdown like in November before April.
The high of 1,244 newly reported deaths was reached on January 14th. So shortly after the peak in the number of corona patients in the intensive care units was reported.
On February 3, the number of corona deaths reported within 24 hours was just under 1000. Since then, the number has been going down by 100 to 200 cases every week. Last week there were highs of around 500 to 600 deaths within a day. On Tuesday morning, the RKI reported 415 more deaths.
So much has been vaccinated so far:
It has now been almost two months since the first vaccinations were carried out in Germany. What has been achieved since December 27, 2020? A look at the numbers.
The majority comes from the manufacturer Biontech / Pfizer. 3.4 million people (4.1 percent of the population in Germany) received a first vaccination, 1.8 million people already received a second vaccination. This emerges from the federal government’s vaccination dashboard. Accordingly, an average of 129,697 vaccinations are currently administered per day. Vaccination would be given every 0.7 seconds.
As can also be seen from the vaccination dashboard, around 45 percent of all vaccination doses were given to people with a so-called “occupational indication”, ie in the health and care professions. 40 percent came from people over 80 years of age. Around 25 percent of the vaccine doses went to residents of the elderly and nursing homes.
Germany expects so many vaccination doses in the foreseeable future:
The pace will increase significantly, promises Spahn. It has to, because it has been clear since Monday that primary school teachers and educators should also receive a vaccination earlier than planned. You move from prioritization group three into two.
As “Business Insider” reported on Monday, citing a government paper classified as confidential, more than 2.3 million vaccine doses are expected to be delivered this week.
The se include 1,080,000 vaccination doses from Astrazeneca, 924,300 from Biontech / Pfizer and 343,200 from Moderna. A total of 1.6 million vaccine doses were expected in the coming week, and 2.2 million the following week.
According to a report by the newspapers of the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND), the federal government expects a total of 10.3 million vaccine doses from Biontech / Pfizer and Astrazeneca alone in the six weeks remaining until the end of the quarter. In addition, there is the vaccine from Moderna, for which no total number is yet available.
According to the report, by the end of September alone, the three companies that have been approved to date will deliver a total of 170 million vaccine doses to Germany. This would be sufficient for a complete vaccination of the population.
The general practitioners are urging to be involved in the administration of the vaccine doses soon. Contrary to original assumptions, all three vaccines currently available in Germany can be used by general practitioners and can be vaccinated in medical practices, said the federal chairman of the German Association of General Practitioners, Ulrich Weigeldt, of the “Augsburger Allgemeine”.
“For weeks family doctors have been in the starting blocks, for weeks we have been signaling to politicians: We are ready to vaccinate in our practices,” said Weigeldt. Vaccination has always been a basic task of general practitioners.
The Federal Ministry of Health only says: “We prepare everything, from the accounting code to the logistics.” According to Minister Spahn, around three to four million cans would have to be delivered per week for this to make sense. He has not yet given an exact date.
The minister’s announcement that two more vaccines will be available in the coming weeks are hopeful that the time will come soon. With the preparation from Johnson & Johnson, it can be expected in two to four weeks, with that from Curevac in April or May. If significantly more vaccine doses are actually available in the foreseeable future, that would be another important building block for containing the pandemic.