Germany reports incidences at record level. RKI President Lothar Wieler and Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) commented on the current corona situation. Christian Karagiannidis, another member of the Corona Council of Experts, was also present. Read the statements from the press conference in the minutes transcript.
The most important thing in a nutshell: Measures to stem the massive Corona wave with the Omikron variant are having the expected effect so far, according to German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach. "We had expected the high number of cases", said the SPD politician on Friday in Berlin. You could still get up to 400.000 per day.
But the goal has been achieved so far, he says, to get away with so few serious illnesses and deaths. The seven-day incidences are now on average 1000, in younger people partly 2000, in the risk group of older people, who are particularly important, but between 200 and 300.
"This is our success", Lauterbach said. This is possible due to the existing daily requirements and access rules such as 3G, 2G and 2G plus. "We will continue to do so", said the minister. He referred to the "special problem" Germany, with a very old population on average and a high proportion of unvaccinated people in the particularly vulnerable group of people aged 60 and over.
He urged that booster vaccinations be given promptly and not wait for possible vaccines adapted to Omikron. The risk of dying decreases by 99 percent with the existing vaccines compared to when you are unvaccinated.
Minister announced proposals next week for new regulations on testing and contact tracing, among other things. Close coordination with the countries is still underway.
Read the press conference with Karl Lauterbach:
11.12 p.m: The federal press conference is over. Thank you for your interest.
11.11 o’clock: The vaccine is not as strong as it was originally advertised to be, Lauterbach says of the Johnson& vaccine Johnson.
11.08 o’clock:"Long-Covid is still a problem", says Lauterbach. It is now known that Long Covid is less severe in people who have been vaccinated.
11.04 pm: The group of those who are not vaccinated and only recover once is very small, according to Lauterbach. He has daily problems with those who categorically reject vaccination, he says.
11.03 a.m.:"I think it’s a shame that we have to deal with communication problems so much,", Lauterbach says in response to a renewed demand.
11.01 a.m: Karagiannidis adds: "Only one percent of intensive care patients in France were boostered".
11.00 o’clock: "I appeal to everyone to get boosted now", says Lauterbach. The Omikron wave is now, so people should get boostered now. Medically, he says, there is no reason to wait, as the vaccine has a very high efficacy. That’s why you shouldn’t wait for an omicron vaccine, he said.
10.55 hrs: Wieler on infection rather than vaccination: "Immunity varies greatly depending on the course of corona infection." That’s why the recovery status has been shortened, he says. Immunity after infection, unlike vaccination, offers no guarantee.
Lauterbach talks about the "communication problem with the RKI
10.51:00: In the question of when the convalescent status would be shortened, Lauterbach was not involved, he says. He thought this would go on longer, he admits. There has been a communication problem. Lauterbach was involved in the decision-making process. Wieler confirms Lauterbach’s remarks.
10.49 pm:"You have to put the question of content in the foreground: Does it make sense to shorten the convalescent status??" asks Lauterbach and answers the question in the affirmative. A journalist had asked about the communication in the case of shortening the convalescent status.
10.47:00: "We are already working on a fast discharge of the main and secondary diagnoses daily to a central place, says Lauterbach. Currently, he said, the reporting of case numbers is still delayed, but that will change soon.
10.42 o’clock:"I found the debate to be of high quality", Lauterbach says about the first Bundestag debate on a general vaccination obligation on Wednesday. He gives an example: Lauterbach did not agree with the content of Wolfgang Kubicki’s (FDP) speech, though. However, Lauterbach found it good that Kubicki spoke about his own vaccination and that he was grateful for it.
10.40 p.m: "I’m not running an evaluation or criticism of the courts", Lauterbach says when asked. For him, however, falsification of vaccination cards is not a trivial offense.
10.37:00: Lauterbach sees "no room for negotiation" on suspension of partial vaccination requirement. Another question, he says, is how the implementation will be designed? In doing so, we work together with the federal states, Lauterbach said.
10.35 p.m: "The real problem is that the numbers are so high, not that we have lost control", Lauterbach says about the situation at the schools.
10.33:00:"Of course, I would prefer it if we already had the wave behind us.", says Lauterbach. "My position is that we help by giving information.". How schools are taught in the end is a matter for the states. But the federal government is helping to limit the pandemic as a whole, he said.
Lauterbach: "I do not welcome the relaxations"
10.32 Watch:"I stick to the course that I have already frequently presented. I do not welcome the relaxations. We are still before the zenith of the wave", says Lauterbach.
10.28 pm: "Since this week, we have not only active immunization in Germany, but also passive immunization, says Karagiannidis. He thanks the Federal Ministry of Health for providing the drug, which is actually already sold out in the U.S.
10.26 o’clock: "Pooled testing would have led to us having higher capacity", says Lauterbach. Something like this, however, would have to be prepared if there was not a large workload. That is currently not possible. He had proposed it twice before. However, it was decided against at that time. Not everything about the current testing strategy is bad, though, he said.
10.24 p.m: The statements have been made, and now the media representatives present have the opportunity to ask questions.
Emotional statement from Divi chief Karagiannidis
10.10 pm: Finally, Karagiannidis expresses his gratitude: "We have now had two years of the pandemic and we have treated an incredible number of patients, 150".000 of them in the intensive care units. We have seen an extreme amount of suffering in recent years. I think one can only take one’s hat off to that", he says with tears in his eyes.
10.8 pm: "We really need to prepare well for the coming winter", according to Karagiannidis. He is more afraid of the coming winter than the current one. "The next few weeks will be tough, he says.
10.6 p.m: "What is the main diagnosis that leads patients to the hospital?" Is currently an important question in hospitals, he says. Karagiannidis is referring to the question of whether more patients are currently coming to hospitals with or because of Corona. Covid is not just a lung disease, but a systemic disease, he says.
10.5 p.m: Now Christian Karagiannidis, president of the Society for Critical Care Medicine and a member of the federal government’s Corona Expert Council, has the floor. Currently there are still more than 2.000 covid patients in the intensive care patients. It could be observed that the proportion of delta patients in the hospitals is decreasing.
10.4 p.m.:"The more people who are immune, the faster this pandemic can be ended", Wieler concludes.
10.1 pm: In the clinics, it is noticeable that the elderly have not yet been affected by the Omikron wave. Wieler puts this down to the higher proportion of booster vaccinations. But: "In the coming weeks, more and more elderly people will be affected. How omicron infections progress in those we still can’t accurately assess at this time", says Wieler.
10.11 am: Within just one week, about one percent of the German population has been infected with Corona, according to Wieler.
10.10 a.m: That concludes Lauterbach’s statement. Now Lothar Wieler speaks: "The numbers are not rising as sharply as they could under Omikron, he says at the beginning.
10.08 o’clock: Lauterbach wishes "that we manage in the next few months to avert as quickly as possible a relapse in the fall by introducing the general vaccination obligation."
Lauterbach warns: "Do not wait for vaccines that are still in development"
10.06:00: The booster campaign has declined somewhat". That’s not a surprise, however, Lauterbach said. "The old vaccines we still have now drastically protect against death", says the health minister. Risk of dying drops by 99 percent with vaccines, he said. "Don’t wait for vaccines that are still in development", he appeals.
10.04 hrs: "We expect a daily case rate of around 400.000", Lauterbach says. What is good, according to Lauterbach, is that among the vulnerable group, the incidence is only 200 to 300.
10.02 p.m: It goes. Lauterbach, Wieler and Karagiannidis are there. Lauterbach makes the beginning: "I think we currently have the omicron wave well under control." While the wave itself cannot be controlled, the consequences of the wave can, he says.
Friday, 28. January, 06.42:00: It’s Friday again: At 10 a.m., RKI President Lothar Wieler and Health Minister Karl Lauterbach face questions from the capital’s press. With record incidences beyond 1000 and the fuss about shortening convalescent status, there should be some topics of conversation. Another guest is Christian Karagiannidis, President of the Society for Intensive Care Medicine and member of the German government’s Corona Expert Council.
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