They are among those who are currently particularly important in the corona pandemic: the 380 national health authorities. Employees have to track the contacts of infected people in order to break chains of infection. Only in this way is it even possible to get the dramatically worsened pandemic events under control again.
One of the important factors to look at politicians and authorities: The number of new infections in a district per 100,000 inhabitants in the last seven days. If there are more than 50 infections, the health authorities are hardly able to follow up the contacts of an infected person in a timely manner – in plain language: They are then mostly overwhelmed with the situation.
Across Germany, the value is currently 94.2 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants. In districts like Augsburg or Bautzen, on the other hand, the number is already more than 300. If health authorities are no longer able to track contacts, they sound the alarm at the Robert Koch Institute. Confidential status reports from the federal government on the corona pandemic show: In the last two weeks alone, the number of so-called notifications about impending and existing capacity bottlenecks has increased from a total of 29 to 41 – an increase of more than 40 percent.
Explosive: The number of health authorities who declare that they can no longer carry out the infection protection measures at all (category 3) has almost doubled from 18 to 34. In Baden-Württemberg, Hesse and Schleswig-Holstein in particular, the health authorities are heavily burdened.
One of the problems: Despite help from the Bundeswehr, many health authorities simply lack staff. Neither are there enough so-called “containment scouts” that the Robert Koch Institute has engaged to support the pandemic. Help from other authorities is apparently still enough.
After all: a week after the lockdown light, the measures seem to be reflected in the infection numbers. According to experts, the data allow for cautious optimism. However: Experts consider it unlikely that the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants nationwide by the end of November will be below 50 as hoped. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) had recently made this a condition that the currently applicable measures can be relaxed again.