From the point of view of the RKI boss, the lockdown is the central means to stop the sharp increase in the corona numbers. Chancellery chief Helge Braun called the Easter decision meanwhile a “big mistake”.
The head of the Robert Koch Institute, Lothar Wieler, has emphasized the central importance of the lockdown in the fight against the rising corona numbers. “We cannot stop this increase unless with a new lockdown for the country,” said Wieler on Wednesday evening in an online event at the German embassy in Washington. Other “tools” to contain the third wave are currently not available.
The RKI assumes that around 80 percent of the population would have to be immune to the virus in order to stop a new wave. “Until that is achieved, we will not be sure,” said Wieler. Until the vaccination campaign has progressed that far, the known precautionary measures such as wearing masks and limiting contacts would have to be followed.
German Medical Association President Klaus Reinhardt, on the other hand, called for more options than lockdown to be considered when fighting the corona pandemic. “The month-long yo-yo permanent lockdown wears people down. It must not be our only answer to the third wave of corona,” Reinhardt told the editorial network in Germany.
Tübingen and Rostock as model cities
“There are promising approaches that even partially enable steps to return to normal social life.” Cities like Tübingen or Rostock showed how it was done, said Reinhardt. “They combine free rapid tests with local relaxation.” Regarding the associated widespread use of rapid tests, he said: “Together with a rapid vaccination coverage of the population – and for this we urgently need more vaccine and more effective digital contact tracking – that would be a real alternative to the back and forth of the past months.”
The Saarland is planning in this direction and wants to restart large parts of public life after Easter. The news channel ntv reported on Wednesday evening.
At the same time, Chancellor Angela Merkel will again face parliament in a government declaration in the Bundestag. At the request of the FDP, their corona policy will also be an issue again. Merkel surprisingly overturned the Easter rest period that had only recently been adopted and apologized to the population. The head of the Chancellery, Helge Braun (CDU), was also self-critical on Wednesday evening on the ARD talk show “maischberger. Die woche”: “I played my part. That is why I agree with the apology.”
Chancellery chief calls Easter decision a “big mistake”
SPD General Secretary Lars Klingbeil told the “Rheinische Post”: The Chancellor had admitted a mistake. “With all due respect, it is also clear that such mistakes shouldn’t happen again.” He added: “This is the shared responsibility we all have in politics. The people of this country rightly expect us not to lose ourselves in responsibilities and night sessions, but to implement the two crucial challenges in the fight against the pandemic: vaccination and testing. ”
Several prime ministers said on Wednesday that it was not Merkel’s sole fault. There was also clear criticism of the format of the federal-state rounds. On Wednesday evening, North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Armin Laschet said in the live program of “Bild” that such far-reaching decisions should not be made in a night session. “That was a mistake.”
Chancellery chief Helge Braun said on ARD: “We have to prepare these things differently in the future.” Braun was also remorseful about the decision to shut down over Easter: “That was a big mistake because it led to a lot of people getting used to it. That shouldn’t be underestimated and something like that shouldn’t happen again.” The next Prime Minister’s Conference on the Corona situation is scheduled for April 12th.