Status: 02/20/2021 5:12 p.m.
According to the SPD health expert Lauterbach, the third corona wave has started in Germany. He pleaded in SWR for stricter compliance with the AHAL rules and warned against hasty easing in the face of current debates.
According to the SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach, Germany is at the beginning of the next corona wave. “I think it is certain that the numbers suggest that we are at the beginning of a third wave,” he said in an interview with the SWR. The number of new infections and the seven-day incidence value had only fallen slowly recently. Today the Robert Koch Institute even reported slightly more new infections than on Saturday a week ago.
According to Lauterbach, this development was foreseeable. “ The lockdown was strong enough to displace the old wild-type variant. But the new variants continue to expand.” At the moment he thinks it is out of the question that we will see much of the original variant in the long term. The British mutation is much longer and contagious with a lower viral load, which favors the spread. “
The third wave is also the beginning of a new pandemic,” warned Lauterbach.
In view of this development, Lauterbach is critical of the partial opening of schools in other federal states from Monday. The antigen tests are not there yet. “So you take a risk,” said the SPD politician. He advocated using the antigen tests as quickly as possible, depending on availability, in all school children who take part in face-to-face classes.
According to Lauterbach, the good news is that the AHAL rules also work with the new virus variants. However, the rules would have to be adhered to even more strictly. He called for FFP2 masks to be worn whenever possible in public. In addition, the vaccinations would have to continue. As a “pragmatic solution” he sees the rapid inoculation of the “wrongly disreputed” AstraZeneca vaccine among the under-65s in the first three priority groups. The vaccine prevents serious disease progression, which could reduce the risks for teachers and educators.
Criticism of the demand for immediate easing
Lauterbach criticized FDP leader Christian Lindner’s proposal to open shops, restaurants and fitness studios in regions with a low seven-day incidence. In places where masks could not be worn continuously, many people would become infected if the mutations spread further, the health expert warned. “Simply because the infected also come from other districts and cities. Since safe operation would not even be possible with a test of the guests, the region would not benefit from the low numbers for long.”
Lindner had told the newspapers of the Funke media group that districts and urban districts that fall below the 35 incidence should be able to start opening immediately. Opening steps beyond schools, daycare centers and hairdressers are possible there.
Lindner’s and Lauterbach’s positions trace the field in which debates about possible easing are currently being conducted. Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil had warned against a hasty relaxation of the corona requirements in Germany in view of the dangers of virus mutations. “ The federal and state governments must jointly develop a sensible opening concept,” said the SPD politician to the editorial network in Germany. “It has to be so sure that after a few weeks we don’t have to close everything that we just opened.”
Federal Finance Minister and Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz told “Mannheimer Morgen” that he expected a concept to further reduce the corona restrictions at the next federal-state meeting on March 3rd. “ The re should be a concept for the next conference between the federal government and the federal states,” said the SPD candidate for chancellor. “Each opening step must be considered individually. But we have to align our actions with the incidence.”
Business associations called for an end to the strict restrictions. “We have to replace the blanket lockdown with targeted, effective individual measures,” said Stefan Genth, managing director of the main association of German retailers, the “Rheinische Post”. The President of the Federation of German Industries, Siegfried Russwurm, told the newspaper: “I would like politics to define evidence-based criteria that give everyone orientation.”
Karl Lauterbach: 3rd wave has begun – a whole new pandemic
Pascal Lechler, SWR, 20.2.2021 · 16:00