BHealth Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) sees the corona summer wave in Germany broken – but no reason to give the all-clear in the pandemic. “The summer wave is slowly starting to recede,” said the SPD politician on Friday in Berlin. There is a “robust decline in the number of cases”. Mortality is also going down. “First of all, there is reason to be happy. That is still no reason for the all-clear.” It is to be expected that the number of cases will rise sharply again in autumn.
One also has to consider that the proportion of unregistered corona diseases has increased, said Lauterbach at the federal press conference. “The number of unreported cases is increasing.” This was shown by data from the Robert Koch Institute.
Lauterbach: States will take protective measures in the fall
According to Lauterbach, there is “very good news” about vaccines. It can be assumed that adapted vaccines could be delivered as early as September 2nd or 28th. “The federal government has procured sufficient quantities of both vaccines. We will therefore also be supplied relatively early.” The vaccination campaign could then take place promptly.
The Federal Minister of Health rejected criticism of the new version of the Infection Protection Act developed together with Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP). From October 1st, the countries could then introduce a mask requirement regardless of indoor incidences. But you don’t have to do this, explained Lauterbach. But: “I think that the countries will all do that because we will have higher case numbers again on October 1st.”
It is also not the case that a vaccination will only be valid for three months in the future, and that you have to be vaccinated every three months, emphasized Lauterbach. This deadline for exceptions to the mask requirement indoors was chosen because, according to the existing view, vaccinations protect against infection during this period. They provided much longer protection against severe infections. Getting vaccinated every three months would also be “completely nonsensical from a medical point of view”.
The federal states, on the other hand, are critical of the regulations on the obligation to wear masks at leisure, cultural or sporting events as well as in gastronomy. Exceptions for those who have just been vaccinated and those who have recovered are difficult to implement and control in everyday life, they explained at the conference of health ministers this week. Lauterbach announced further talks with the federal states for the coming week.
It will also be a question of when the federal states should initiate the second stage of tightened protective measures, he said. These include upper limits for people for indoor events, distance rules and the obligation to wear masks outside where distances cannot be maintained. The exceptions for interiors will then no longer apply.
Lauterbach rejected demands for uniform specifications. He said countries must themselves assess the overall risk situation. In addition to the number of cases, this also included many other indicators, such as the occupancy of the hospitals and the severity of the course of the disease. That is better than repeatedly failed attempts to work with fixed limit values, he said. At the same time, however, he was open to suggestions from the countries if they were practicable.