Saturday, May 21

German health experts call for a strict lockdown to quell growing Covid cases

Drosten, chief virologist at Berlin’s Charité hospital and a government advisor, said tougher measures were needed in Germany due to the increase in cases.

“I don’t think it will work without a new lockdown to once again delay this momentum that has now been established without question,” Drosten said on his Coronavirus Update podcast on Tuesday.

The situation is unfortunately “very serious and very complicated,” he added, saying that Germany has missed many opportunities to “optimize the tools” it has.

“I have a feeling that we actually still have to use the same tools at this point, that we used in the first wave,” he said. The only thing left is the ‘mallet’: a hard block.

“Clearly, contacts must be reduced,” Drosten said, adding that this included the private sphere, education and workplaces. It is wrong, he said, to say that we do not know where the virus is being transmitted.

READ ALSO: Is Germany heading for a tougher blockade?

Drosten said the rise of the virus has started earlier than the models predicted.

This week, he said, the more contagious variant B.1.1.7, which originated in the UK, will cover more than 90 percent of cases in Germany.

“That, of course, is anything but reassuring,” he said.

Danger of pandemic getting ‘completely out of control’

Doctors have also urged the government to take action.

“We are in the middle of the third wave. Vaccines still won’t be able to break it in the next few weeks, ”Ute Teichert, president of the Federal Association of German Medical Officials, told the Rheinische Post.

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Therefore, it is “crucial” to reduce the number of infections, he said. However, this is only possible with a “constant lock”.

Teichert warned against opening-up measures being taken by some states or cities in Germany.

READ ALSO: How the German city of Tübingen bets on Covid tests to reopen public life

“Relaxation makes people have a lot of contacts,” he said. Combined with the high infection rates, it would be “difficult or impossible” to trace contacts, increasing the danger that the pandemic “will spiral out of control.”

Parallel to the lockdown, “concrete concepts” should be developed on how a reasonable vaccination strategy and testing and applications for digital contact tracing, such as the Luca app, can be used to alleviate the situation, but only when the number of cases is down. down, ”Teichert said.

This strategy also includes explaining exactly how individuals and institutions should proceed if a rapid test indicates an infection.

On Tuesday, Germany recorded 17,051 coronavirus cases in 24 hours and 249 deaths, according to the Robert Koch Institute.

The number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants in a seven-day period stood at 132.3.

READ ALSO: Germany’s coronavirus incidence rate more than doubled in four weeks

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