Dhe Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, Andreas Gassen, has spoken out in favor of lifting all corona isolation and quarantine obligations. These should be “repealed until further notice, which would alleviate the shortage of staff in many places,” said Gassen of the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung”. “We have to get back to normal. Anyone who is sick stays at home. Anyone who feels healthy goes to work. We do the same with other infectious diseases such as the flu.” The Ministry of Health immediately objected.
“Infected people have to stay at home. Otherwise, not only will the number of cases increase even more, but the workplace itself will become a safety risk,” wrote Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) on Twitter on Saturday. The ministry said that a further shortening of the deadlines for the possibilities of free testing would currently make “no sense”. The current recommendations were a reaction to worsening personnel situations in the spring, it said.
The board of directors of the German Foundation for Patient Protection, Eugen Brysch, accused Gassen of “opportunism”. “The isolation protects. Because this prevents others from getting infected. ”He referred to long and post-Covid. Gassen plays with people’s health.
On the other hand, the FDP health expert Andrew Ullmann said that Gassen was right in his call for the isolation requirements to be lifted. “This is a solution-oriented approach to enable smarter and more individual handling of corona infections,” he said on Saturday. “The isolation period for patients with Covid-19 should no longer be fixed by the state. In this way we can return to a certain normality and calmness.” According to Ullmann, the length of isolation should be a medical and individual decision in the future.
Gassen admitted that the number of infections had been very high for months and that there were probably hundreds of thousands of undetected infections per day due to fewer tests. However, the courses are almost always mild. “So the problem is not the many infections, but that those who test positive stay at home for several days even without symptoms and are sent into isolation. This creates staff shortages in the clinics and elsewhere.”
Gassen called the omicron virus variant “almost a peace offering from the virus.” Anyone who becomes infected after a triple vaccination “even benefits from an infection by acquiring mucosal immunity”. However, no one should actively become infected. “But we cannot hide from the virus permanently. And we are the last country in Europe that is still so excitedly discussing a corona emergency,” Gassen said.
Currently, for the general population, the mandatory isolation for people infected with corona can end after five days – with a “strongly recommended” negative test at the end.
Gassen, Federal Minister of Health Lauterbach also has a “wrong” vaccination strategy in mind. Up to a hundred million euros would be wasted. Lauterbach is planning up to 60 million vaccinations in autumn and winter. According to a calculation by his association, however, only a maximum of 30 million vaccinations can be expected. A second booster for everyone over 60, a first booster for all younger people and a generous contingent for those who have not been vaccinated are generously included.