Coronavirus

Karl Lauterbach: Germany is at the beginning of the third corona wave

picture alliance / dpa | Kay Nietfeld

Most recently, the number of detected new infections and the seven-day incidence value have declined in many places. Compared to last Sunday, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) even reported more new infections and an increased incidence value. According to the virologist Karl Lauterbach, we are at the beginning of the third corona wave in Germany, which “is also the beginning of a new pandemic”, as reported by the “Tagesschau”.

In an interview with the SWR, the SPD health expert Lauterbach said that this development was foreseeable. Although the lockdown succeeded in pushing back the original virus variant, the new, more dangerous and more contagious mutations from Great Britain and South Africa continue to spread – they are longer and contagious with a lower viral load.

The AHAL rules should now be adhered to even more strictly, FFP2 masks should be worn and vaccinations should be promoted. According to Lauterbach, the “wrongly disreputed” Astrazeneca vaccine should be used to vaccinate people under 65 of the first three priority groups. This could reduce the risk, especially for teachers. Because despite a lack of antigen tests, schools are to partially reopen on Monday.

FDP leader Christian Lindner called for shops, restaurants and gyms to be opened in circles with an incidence value below 35. German business associations are also calling for the end of the lockdown and the strict corona measures. Rather, they demand “targeted, effective individual measures”, according to Stefan Genth, Managing Director of the German Trade Association HDE.

Lauterbach is critical of this and emphasizes that the low numbers will rise again quickly and, above all, mutations would continue to spread – especially in places where masks cannot be worn continuously. In view of the mutations that are circulating, Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil also warns against a hasty relaxation of the measures. First of all, “the federal and state governments must jointly develop a sensible opening concept,” says Heil. It is important that every opening step is viewed individually and geared to the incidence, as is the case with SPD Chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz.

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