Omicron wave: “We haven’t lost control,” says Lauterbach

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  • Christian Stör

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The corona numbers are skyrocketing, the RKI reports records every day. However, according to Karl Lauterbach, the omicron wave is under control.

  • Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach* (SPD*) and RKI President Lothar Wieler inform in Berlin about the Corona situation*.
  • The nationwide seven-day incidence has reached a new record.
  • One did not lose control in the omicron wave, explains Karl Lauterbach.

Despite the high number of corona cases, Germany has not lost control of the omicron wave, said Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach in the federal press conference on Friday (January 28, 2022). The opposite is the case. So far, it has been successful in protecting the elderly. In the group of people over 60, the incidence is 200 to 300, well below the national average.

The federal government is pursuing the goal of getting through the omicron wave with as few serious illnesses and deaths as possible. One success would be to have as few deaths as possible given the high number of cases. Risk groups in particular must be protected. Lauterbach emphasized the importance of the corona vaccination and called on older people in particular to get boosters.

Intensive care physician Christian Karagiannidis nevertheless reported an “omicron effect” in the intensive care units. However, the hospitalization rate is still “acceptable”. The most important question that arose was the burden of disease with the omicron variant.

Corona crisis: Lauterbach, Wieler and Karagiannidis provide information on the omicron wave

Read the press conference on the Corona situation on Friday, January 28th, 2022:

+++ 11.18 a.m.: The federal press conference on the corona situation in Germany with Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, RKI boss Lothar Wieler and Christian Karagiannidis has ended.

+++ 11.15 a.m.: Individuals who have been vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson* vaccine for the first time and have received a second subsequent vaccination are not considered to have been boosted. The vaccine is not as strong as it was estimated in the scientific literature at the time, Lauterbach justifies the decision. This is a normal scientific process.

+++ 11.09 a.m.: With regard to possible relaxation of the corona measures, Lauterbach explains that the plan is to prevent another omicron wave. The zenith of the wave is reached in mid-February. The measures could be relaxed in the second half of February or in early March.

+++ 11.05 a.m.: He finds it a pity that we deal with the communication problem so much, explains Karl Lauterbach when asked about the dispute about the recovered status. He is grateful for every substantive question.

+++ 11.02 a.m.: “The omicron wave is happening now, so I should get vaccinated now,” Karl Lauterbach explains about the booster vaccinations. Therefore, one should not wait for an omicron vaccine, which is still a long way off. Medically there is no reason to wait. “Only one percent of intensive care patients in France were boosted patients,” adds Christian Karagiannidis.

+++ 10.59 a.m.: “The immunity varies greatly depending on the course of the infection,” explains RKI boss Wieler. That is why the recovered status was shortened. In contrast to the corona vaccination, immunity after infection is not guaranteed.

+++ 10.55 a.m.: Lauterbach explains that reducing the convalescent status to three months makes sense. A recovered person must be able to rely on the fact that he cannot infect anyone. This is not the case with the Omicron variant. The substantive point of the decision is correct, explains Lauterbach. He is also committed to this at European level. Lauterbach himself was involved in the decision-making process, but he did not know when the change would come into force. There was a communication problem.

+++ 10.49 a.m.: “We are already working on a quick forwarding of the main and secondary diagnoses to a central location,” explains Lauterbach. This can arrive at the RKI or the Federal Ministry of Health. The notification is currently delayed. That will change soon.

+++ 10.44 a.m.: A journalist asks how the Bundestag debate on general vaccination is affecting the population. “I found the content of the debate to be of high quality,” explains Lauterbach.

+++ 10.42 a.m.: A journalist asks the health minister whether health authorities have discretionary powers in enforcing facility-related vaccination requirements. It is about protecting vulnerable groups. In the case of partial vaccination, there is “no room for negotiation”. When it comes to implementation, they work together with the federal states, explains the SPD politician.

+++ 10.35 a.m.: In view of the corona situation in schools, Lauterbach explains that it is up to the federal states. The federal government is helping to limit the pandemic as a whole.

+++ 10.33 a.m.: A journalist addresses the contradictory communication in the current corona policy and what can be done about it. It’s best to stick to the truth. “You always have to put the objective in the foreground,” says Karl Lauterbach. You have to look at the numbers to assess the current course. When asked about easing the measures in individual federal states and neighboring countries, Lauterbach explains: “I do not welcome these easing.” The zenith of the omicron wave is not yet over.

+++ 10.29 a.m.: Karl Lauterbach names two groups that should be prioritized in the PCR test strategy. The federal government is currently in talks with the federal states. A proposal will be made in the coming weeks. On the one hand, employees in the health system should be tested regularly in order to protect those under protection. Risk groups should also be tested in order to detect corona diseases as early as possible and to be able to treat them in good time. However, Lauterbach also emphasizes the importance of the antigen tests.

Lauterbach and Wieler provide information on the Corona crisis: omicron wave before its peak

+++ 10.24 a.m.: “We have to prepare really well for the coming winter,” says Christian Karagiannidis. He’s more afraid of the coming winter than he is now. You can only take your hat off to the employees in the health system, explains Karagiannidis

+++ 10.21 a.m.: Christian Karagiannidis explains the corona situation in the hospitals. There are currently over 2,000 Covid patients in the intensive care units. The proportion of the Delta variant* in the clinics is decreasing.

+++ 10.17 a.m.: Wieler reminds of the Corona measures. He also appealed again to be vaccinated.

+++ 10.15 a.m.: In the clinics it is noticeable that the elderly are not yet affected by the omicron wave. Wieler attributes this to the higher proportion of booster vaccinations. In the coming weeks, however, he expects more hospital admissions and more older people to be affected. However, this is difficult to assess at the moment. In view of the high number of cases, the risk groups must be given special protection.

+++ 10.12 a.m.: We are heading for a peak in the Omicron wave, says RKI boss Lothar Wieler. However, we are entering a new phase of the pandemic. However, it is not necessary to look at the number of cases, but at the burden of the disease.

+++ 10.10 a.m.: Karl Lauterbach hopes that one can look back on the omicron wave and have fewer deaths. According to Lauterbach, general vaccination is necessary to avoid a renewed increase in the coming autumn.

Corona crisis: Lauterbach advertises booster vaccinations in a press conference

+++ 10.07 a.m: “The booster vaccination definitely helps the elderly. I call on everyone to receive the booster vaccination,” explains Karl Lauterbach. The risk of dying drops by 99 percent, explains Lauterbach and appeals not to wait for new vaccines, but to get boosters now.

+++ 10.05 a.m.: Karl Lauterbach explains that the omicron wave is well under control. The goal is to have as few severe courses and deaths as possible. In Germany there is the special feature that there are relatively many older people and the proportion of unvaccinated people in this group is relatively high. In view of this is the interim balance. The measures have succeeded in protecting the elderly.

+++ 10.02 a.m.: The press conference begins.

+++ 9:56 a.m.: The press conference on the current Corona situation will start in a few minutes. In addition to Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach and RKI boss Lothar Wieler, Christian Karagiannidis, President of the German Society for Internal Intensive Care Medicine and member of the Federal Government’s Corona Expert Council, will also sit on the podium at the federal press conference.

Corona press conference with Karl Lauterbach and Lothar Wieler

First report: Berlin – The Corona crisis continues to make things difficult for Germany. After all, the nationwide seven-day incidence has now reached the new record value of 1073.0.* The omicron variant* has long dominated, as the new weekly report from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) shows. In the reporting data from the federal states, their share was 96 percent last week. At 10 a.m., Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach and RKI President Lothar Wieler want to inform about the current situation at a press conference in Berlin.

In view of the skyrocketing number of new omicron infections, the RKI does not see the measurement of every infection, but increasingly the burden of the disease. For the current assessment of the situation, “the focus is not on recording all infections caused by Sars-CoV-2, but on the development of the number and severity of the diseases,” says the RKI weekly report from Thursday evening (01/27/2022). Even if every individual case is no longer recorded in the reporting system, additional estimated values ​​made possible “a reliable assessment of the overall development of the epidemiological situation” in Germany, it said.

Corona crisis: Lauterbach and Wieler provide information about the situation

Specifically, estimates of infected people with Covid 19 symptoms of various degrees of severity are now reported in the weekly report. Specifically, there are also estimated values ​​for cases below the hospital admissions threshold, such as the frequency of doctor visits: In the week to January 23, this was 280 per 100,000 people, in the previous week it was 178 according to the RKI.

For the third week of the year, it was also estimated “that around 1.3 to 2.3 percent of children and adolescents up to the age of 14 and 0.6 to 1.3 percent of the population aged 15 and over have Covid-19 with symptoms of a acute respiratory illness”. This information comes from various sources, such as information from the population.

Corona crisis: Lauterbach and Wieler give press conference

The background to the temporarily incomplete registration of infected people is, among other things, test and registration capacities that are increasingly reaching and exceeding their limits.

Follow the press conference with Karl Lauterbach and Lothar Wieler here in the live ticker from 10 a.m. today. (cs/ms/dpa) *fr.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.

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