The SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach has asked the federal and state governments to immediately convene a new corona summit and decide on a hard lockdown due to the sharp rise in the number of corona infections. “We have to renegotiate quickly,” said Lauterbach in an interview with the “Tagesspiegel”.
“It won’t work without a sharp lockdown,” emphasized Lauterbach and defended his call for nationwide curfews. “Exit restrictions from 8 p.m. for two weeks would take effect – we’ve seen it in France, Great Britain and Portugal.” The earlier you decide, the more lives would be saved.
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In order to reduce the risk of infection, especially at the workplace, in parallel to a tougher lockdown, he insists on a regulation for an immediate test obligation for companies and mandatory home office, the employers would finally have to bring their share. “I am also surprised that the unions do not do more to protect their employees in the company because the companies pose a significant risk,” said Lauterbach.
So far is the next federal state–Round not planned until April 12th. In regional circles, the Tagesspiegel confirmed considerations for an earlier meeting. Accordingly, this was already addressed during the short video switch on Wednesday, when Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) withdrew her plans for a tightened Easter lockdown, but there is still no date. Merkel proposed this because the prime ministers had opposed tougher measures such as nationwide curfews.
[„Wir müssen deutlich unter 100.000 Toten bleiben“: Abonnenten von T+ lesen hier das komplette Interview mit SPD-Gesundheitsexperte Karl Lauterbach.]
“There is generally too little talk about the dangers in political Berlin,” criticized the epidemiologist Lauterbach, who advises Merkel and the SPD minister-presidents in the pandemic. “Far too little is said about the strength of the third wave, which age groups it affects and how dangerous the mutations are for the middle age groups.” Above all, too little is communicated about long-term consequences – “that affects up to ten percent of those infected , so currently up to 250,000 people “.
But the word of science has unfortunately lost weight because of the opening pressure and that in a phase where it is needed more than ever. Behind this is the misconception of many politicians that the situation could soon be resolved by the better weather, the vaccinations and comprehensive tests.
“The third wave is politically and medically underestimated. You get out of the boat and want to swim the rest of the way to land – but you overestimate how well you can swim, ”said Lauterbach.
In view of the increasing number of corona infections in Germany, there is also growing pressure from other sources on Merkel and the prime ministers to consider even tougher restrictions. “There are very clear signals that this wave can become even worse than the first two waves,” said the President of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Lothar Wieler, in Berlin on Friday.
Regarding the new infections, Wieler said: “That can be 100,000 per day.” Wieler made it clear that from an infection medicine point of view, he believes stricter requirements are necessary: ”We had a lockdown that deserves this name last year in the spring.”
Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) warned: “If this continues unchecked, we run the risk that our health system will reach its limits in the course of April.” Doctors also emphasize that hospitals could reach their limits in just a few weeks, because now It is no longer the vaccinated old citizens who end up in the intensive care units, but mainly 50 to 60-year-olds, who usually lie there longer.
Spahn said polls showed there was an increasing proportion of the population who wanted tougher measures. According to the Politbarometer from ZDF and Tagesspiegel, this is the case for 36 percent of those surveyed; an increase of 18 percentage points compared to the previous month. For 31 percent, the measures are “just right”, 26 percent consider them excessive.
Spahn prepares citizens for “torture”
Numerous virologists also insist on at least two-week restrictions with strict curfews, since contacts in the private sector are considered to be the largest pandemic driver. The Minister of Health appealed to the federal states to consistently apply the agreed emergency brake in the event of a high incidence of infections and, in view of the increasing incidence of infections, was critical of the model regions planned in some countries. He asked citizens to ideally only meet outside with others on Easter, before and after. The containment of infections remains important even with vaccinations that are attractive. “The higher the incidence, the less the vaccination helps to push the numbers down.”
This Easter can not be organized again as usual, said Spahn. The infection numbers are too high for that. Germany has probably “arrived in the last part of this pandemic marathon”. The goal is in sight, but still a long way off. “Especially in the last part of the marathon, every further step often seems like an ordeal.” This is how many feel in this phase.
The emergency brake agreed by the federal and state governments provides for openings to be withdrawn if the seven-day incidence in a region or state rises to over 100 on three consecutive days. This number of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days rose nationwide to 125. On Sunday, Merkel faced her crisis management on ARD at “Anne Will”, especially the still missing comprehensive rapid tests, inadequate vaccine procurement and, most recently, chaotic negotiations are blamed on her.
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wave underestimated Lauterbach calls corona summit tough lockdown politics