Prescribed isolation for corona-infected people should be reduced to five days. This was announced Thursday evening by the Health Ministry of Saxony-Anhalt, which currently chairs the Conference of Health Ministers. In a video link from the heads of federal and state departments, the Federal Ministry of Health announced that the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) recommendation regarding the length of isolation and quarantine should be adjusted early next week.
Countries want to revise their isolation and quarantine regulations accordingly. Health ministers justify the step with increased immunity in the population and milder disease progression with the omicron variant. It is gratifying that “all states have agreed on a uniform approach based on the scientific expertise of the RKI,” explained Saxony-Anhalt Health Minister Petra Grimm-Benne (SPD). A quarantine for the contacts of the infected should only be urgently recommended, as was said Thursday evening after the deliberations of the department heads.
Several countries are already making progress in shortening the isolation period. Even in Baden-Württemberg it is expected to last only five days, as the German news agency has learned from coalition circles. From the beginning of May, a final free test after five days will also be omitted for most people who have had no symptoms for two days. There are exceptions for staff in clinics or nursing homes. Baden-Württemberg follows the example of Bavaria, where this regulation has been in effect since mid-April. Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia had also announced that they would take this path.
So far, isolation and quarantine have generally lasted ten days and can be terminated prematurely with a negative test after seven days at the latest. Federal Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) had withdrawn the originally planned end of the solitary confinement obligation. (04/29/2022)
Drosten leaves the Corona committee
Virologist Christian Drosten withdraws from a commission for the scientific evaluation of state restrictions on the crown in Germany. Unfortunately, Drosten informed him that he would no longer accompany the evaluation of the Infection Protection Act for the federal government and parliament. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) said on Twitter. “This is a heavy loss because no one could do it better.” The head of the Charité Berlin Institute of Virology remains a member of the federal government’s Corona Expert Council.
The Bundestag had stipulated in the Infection Protection Act that there should be an external assessment of the requirements in the context of the epidemic situation of national importance that has been going on for several months. To this end, a committee of experts was set up which, according to the law, will have to submit a report by 30 June. Scientists from various disciplines are members of the committee.
A spokesperson for the Charité confirmed on request that Drosten had informed the commission of his withdrawal. He had come to the conclusion that the equipment and composition were not sufficient to be able to guarantee a scientifically high quality evaluation. Furthermore, in recent weeks, the content of the consultations has been repeatedly subject to misleading and incorrect reports. “From Prof. Drosten’s point of view, this hampers constructive and goal-oriented cooperation within the committee.” After all, members are bound by strict confidentiality. (04/28/2022)
Tens of thousands of vaccination violations
According to a media report, more than 47,000 violations of the corona vaccination requirement in the health sector have been reported to health authorities in Germany’s 20 largest cities. As the German editorial network reports following its own investigation, this has so far had no consequences for those affected. There has not been a single case of fines or entry bans.
According to the report, the most reported violations occur in the cities of Berlin (6541), Munich (5330) and Dresden (4821). In relation to the number of inhabitants, Dresden has by far the most unvaccinated health workers. There are 867 cases reported per 100,000 inhabitants. Bonn follows Dresden with 531 and Hannover with 498 reported cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
According to the report, cities do not want to impose fines or issue entry and activity bans until mid-May. Since mid-March, there is a national facility-related corona vaccination requirement for employees in hospitals and care. Without evidence, there is a risk of a work ban, which municipal health authorities can enact. A general obligation to vaccinate did not find a majority in the Bundestag in April. (04/28/2022)
The seven-day incidence decreases
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) recorded 130,104 new infections within 24 hours. The seven-day incidence nationwide drops to 826 from 887.6 the previous day, while another 246 people have died from the virus.
The number of infections is currently of limited importance. Experts have long speculated that there will be a large number of cases not registered by the RKI – due to overworked health authorities and because not all infected people have performed a PCR test. Only these count in the statistics. That’s why we use the SZ Corona dashboard to show an average value from the reports over the past seven days, which is meant to compensate for daily fluctuations. You can find more information on this in the transparency blog, more pandemic data and charts here. (04/28/2022)
Before the meeting of the ministers of health: the representatives of the doctors ask for uniform rules of isolation at the national level
Medical representatives are calling for uniform rules nationwide for the isolation of people infected with the coronavirus. We need “clear rules that do not differ from country to country,” Susanne Johna, president of the medical union Marburger Bund, told newspapers of the media group Funke. This Thursday, federal and state health ministers want to discuss the new regulation of the isolation requirement.
Bavaria and Saxony have already reduced the previous ten-day period to five days. However, this only makes sense if the test result is negative and there are no symptoms for 48 hours, Johna said. The evidence should come from a testing site, such as a testing center or doctor’s office. (04/28/2022)
Even in Hamburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, masks are no longer mandatory in supermarkets
After the end of most of the state crown requirements in Germany, the latest even stricter requirements in Hamburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania will no longer apply. The Senate of the Hanseatic city and the Schwerin cabinet have decided to end further protection regulations as additional requirements for masks. For several weeks, both countries were the only ones nationwide to use a controversial “hotspot” clause for regions with a critical pandemic situation. There are still strong fluctuations in the official numbers of new infections in Germany after the Easter holidays. From the expert’s point of view, there is a risk of further uncertainty if the tests are not carried out in schools.
Given the current situation of the infection, measures imposed under the so-called hotspot rule should not be extended beyond next Saturday, Hamburg’s first mayor Peter Tschentscher (SPD) said Tuesday after consulting his red-green Senate. There is no reason for an extension. “Now we are taking big steps towards normal life again.” (04/27/2022)
More than half of the US population has had Corona
According to a study, more than half of the population in the United States has been infected with Covid-19 at least once. In the general population, the percentage is 58% and in children up to the age of eleven it is even higher than 75%, according to a study published by the US CDC. The data refer to the months from December to February.
Before the omicron virus variant began spreading in the United States in early December, it could be shown that only a third of all Americans had survived corona infection. For younger children it was a whopping 44 percent. In the study, the scientists looked for special antibodies in the test subjects’ blood that are produced only after an infection but not after a vaccination. According to US officials, 66% of Americans are fully vaccinated and 46% have also received a booster injection. (04/27/2022)