Tighten corona measures (symbol image): According to the expert council, the health system is at risk of being overloaded
Photo: Federico Gambarini / dpa
The Federal Government's Expert Council has called for thorough preparations for a possible further aggravation of the corona situation.
If further "critical marks" such as a high hospitalization rate were reached, further protective measures would be necessary, according to the opinion of the expert council distributed by the federal government.
These measures should therefore "be prepared now so that they can be implemented without delay".
You can read the assessment of the situation here: 3. Statement of the Federal Government's Expert Council on COVID-19
The Expert Council expressly warns against being fooled by the currently low hospitalization rate.
This indicates how many people per 100,000 inhabitants are hospitalized with corona disease in one week.
According to the Robert Koch Institute, this value was 3.77 on Friday – at the peak of the second wave of the pandemic, on the other hand, it was over 15.
However, the expert council warned: “The hospitalization rate is lower than expected for the Delta variant, but would have to be a whole order of magnitude (roughly a factor of 10) lower than last winter in order to compensate for the expected high number of cases and not to overload the health system.” But that cannot be assumed.
“Accordingly, a large number of hospital admissions can be expected if the incidence continues to rise,” it says.
»Closing immunity gaps through vaccination«
In addition, the experts called for a “strict implementation of the previous measures” with reference to the “highly dynamic course of infection”.
At the same time, the scientists also showed a perspective for reducing the corona restrictions.
If the basic immunity in the population increases and the number of new infections and the number of Covid 19 patients in hospitals decreases, the contact restrictions should be gradually reduced, the paper says.
The Expert Council continues to regard vaccination as an essential measure for overcoming the corona pandemic.
It was "urgent to close the remaining immunity gaps in society through vaccination," he said.
Otherwise, “strong waves of infection and illness can always be expected”.
The expert council includes 19 scientists from different disciplines, including virologist Christian Drosten, virologist Melanie Brinkmann, Stiko boss Thomas Mertens, RKI boss Lothar Wieler and the chairwoman of the ethics council, Alena Buyx.
The committee's recommendations, which also deal with data collection and digitization in the pandemic, were published shortly before the Prime Ministers' Conference.
The heads of the federal states want to discuss with Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) how to proceed in view of the spread of the highly contagious omicron variant of the corona virus.
Health Minister Karl Lauterbach warned on Thursday that the number of new infections could rise to around 400,000 per day in the optimistic case in mid-February and to over 600,000 per day in the pessimistic case.