Corona debate: tests in schools, booster vaccinations, intensive care units – domestic policy

by time news

New corona debates in Germany!

It actually looked as if we had finally left the most intense phase of the corona pandemic behind us. Actually! Because in view of the increasing number of infections and increased vaccination breakthroughs, the corona measures are now again being discussed vigorously.

Health Minister Jens Spahn (41, CDU) had caused a stir with his proposal to end the state of emergency corona. He had pleaded for the so-called epidemic situation of national scope to come to an end. “The state of emergency, established by the Bundestag, can be ended in my opinion because four out of five adults are vaccinated,” he said again on Sunday in the ZDF “heute-journal”.

In plain language: Then the management of the corona measures – such as AHA rules (distance, hygiene, everyday masks) and access restrictions for unvaccinated people (2G and 3G) – would be back to the federal states.

Critics warn against patchwork measures

But critics fear a patchwork of measures and regulations.

The federal states have also already vetoed it. The states need a “secure legal basis so that low-threshold basic protective measures are possible in the coming autumn and winter months,” said the head of the Prime Minister’s Conference, Armin Laschet (60, CDU) on Friday.

Intensive care physicians are sounding the alarm

Intensive care physicians, on the other hand, are sounding the alarm because many intensive care beds could no longer be operated due to a lack of nursing staff.

“From a medical point of view, one can say: Many people rub their eyes in complete amazement at Spahn’s announcement,” said Uwe Janssens, former president of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (Divi). “This is a signal that can be misunderstood by the population as Freedom Day through the back door.”

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The Spahn plan would come at an inopportune time: at the beginning of the cooler months, when Sars-CoV2 and other pathogens were rampant again in closed rooms.

There is still a lot of work to be done in the intensive care units, said Janssens. “Around three million people over 60 in Germany have not yet been vaccinated against Sars-CoV2.” In addition, one must reckon with a certain percentage of breakthrough infections among those vaccinated. Therefore: “It would be sensible to continue as before and just loosen carefully.”

The number of corona patients admitted to clinics per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days was 2.68 on Friday (October 22) (Thursday: 2.45). The previous high was around 15.5 around Christmas time.

Lauterbach wants tests in schools

SPD politician and health expert Karl Lauterbach (58) is still in an alarm mood. He warns of a sharp rise in the number of infections in children.

“After the autumn break, we will see significantly more outbreaks in schools because the children can no longer ventilate,” he told the editorial network in Germany with a view to the winter. “There will also be chains of contagion in companies. The same goes for bars and restaurants. We can expect a continuous increase. “

Lauterbach: “Test three times a week, that would be my suggestion, in the morning with antigen tests, because these detect the prevailing delta variant very reliably.” There should be five test days in a row for contact persons of infected people.

His conclusion: “This way we could practically end the uncontrolled pandemic in schools.” He felt sorry for the children who are now exposed to the long-covid risk, according to Lauterbach.

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The chairman of the Education and Science Union (GEW), Maike Finnern, is far more optimistic: “From a national perspective, schools are better positioned in terms of health prevention this autumn than they were a year ago, and the vaccination rate among school employees is extraordinarily high.”

But she criticized that many schools were still not equipped with air filters. “There is an urgent need for action here,” she said.

Speed ​​with booster vaccinations

Next big topic: booster vaccinations. So far, 1.57 million people in Germany have received a booster vaccination. Means: There is still plenty of room for improvement. The lives of older people in particular, for example in old people’s homes, could be saved in this way.

► SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach warned on Twitter: “The 4th wave will continue.” There is no systematic booster vaccination campaign. You have to address the unvaccinated specifically. “In particular, we have not yet reached enough people with a migration background, is my impression,” said Lauterbach.

► And the head of the Central Institute for Statutory Health Insurance (ZI), Dominik Stillfried, is calling for more speed with third-party vaccinations. “Currently, only about 250,000 people can be given a booster per week,” he told the “Handelsblatt”. “This pace should be increased urgently.”

But do we really have to worry that the vaccination will no longer hold up?

The family doctor Dr. Thomas Aßmann explains at BILD Live: “You have to think clearly. We have to be vigilant. The over-70 generation in particular should receive a boost after six to seven months. “

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Background: The Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) recommends booster vaccinations for people 70 and over, for nurses and medical staff who have direct contact with patients, for people who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and for people with a weakened immune system.

Assmann says: “It is important because the vaccination protection in the elderly decreases significantly in old age due to their own weakened immune system. The booster vaccination would be urgently required. “

His reasoning for the fact that vaccinated people sometimes get sick: “If many people are vaccinated, the number of breakthroughs is automatically higher.” Assmann’s conclusion: “Only the vaccinated patient is the healthy patient.”

The family doctor emphasizes: “The vaccination is still an extremely good protection against a severe course and death – even if not 100 percent.”

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