Coronavirus

Spread of corona mutants: what does that mean for schools?

Helge Braun (CDU), head of the Federal Chancellery.

Chancellery chief Helge Braun (CDU) assumes that the coronavirus mutation, which has so far been widespread in Great Britain, will also become the dominant form in Germany. “We are currently seeing that we are already dealing with the mutant in several hospitals. That means, that has arrived in our country, and that’s why at some point, like in other countries, she will take the lead and cause problems, ”said Braun on the ARD talk show“ Anne Will ”.

It is now all the more important to reduce the number of infections and thus remove the basis for further spread of the mutation, added Braun. “We want to keep it out of the country as long as possible and keep it very low where it is already. You won’t be able to do that in the long run. “

The virus type B.1.1.7 had so far mainly occurred in Great Britain. According to experts, the variant is easier to transfer than the previous one. It is not yet possible to say with certainty whether it is also more deadly. Virus mutations are also circulating in Brazil and South Africa with a particular risk.

The SPD health politician Karl Lauterbach said in the “Bild” format “The right questions”: “You have to assume that, viewed over a month, these three variants are six to eight times as contagious. And if I then extrapolate the current figures, then I quickly come to the scenario that Christian Drosten has calculated. “

In the worst case, the virologist had expected 100,000 new infections per day in the “Spiegel” newspaper if the lockdown ended too early. Among the new infections registered within 24 hours, the highest value was reported on December 18 at 33,777 – but this included 3,500 late reports. Since then, the numbers have dropped significantly.

“We’re going to need a very tough and very well-functioning lockdown.”

Lauterbach warned: “We will need a very hard and very well functioning lockdown because the new variants are of a completely different caliber. They have a completely different threat potential. ”Like Drosten, Lauterbach does not assume that the summer will largely stop the spread of the virus.

In view of the situation, isolated calls for a lockdown to end in mid-February were blocked over the weekend. “The threat situation is still too great,” said the new CDU chairman Armin Laschet, for example.

First school openings at the beginning of February still conceivable

Nevertheless, the chairwoman of the Conference of Ministers of Education, Britta Ernst, believes that the first school openings in early February are possible. “Certainly not completely”, the Brandenburg education minister restricted in the “Rheinische Post”. “But I think that if there is a corresponding infection situation, for example with alternating lessons, it is possible.” Initially, this could only apply to final classes and the first grade levels.

“No country should have to wait for another to open its schools,” said the SPD politician, referring to the very different levels of infection in the federal states. When asked whether the schools will be closed until Easter, Education Minister Anja Karliczek (CDU) told “Bild”: “The better we can get the numbers down, the earlier we can open.”

Unions and associations are demanding higher standard rates from Hartz IV

With a view to the restrictions that will probably last longer, a broad alliance of 36 trade unions and associations is calling for the standard rates of Hartz IV and basic old-age security to be increased to at least 600 euros as well as immediate additional corona aid for poor people. The signatories of the demand include the Verdi union, the education and science union, the Awo, the social association VdK and the Diakonie.

The alliance received support from the deputy SPD parliamentary group leader in the Bundestag, Katja Mast. The corona pandemic and its consequences “hit the weakest the hardest,” said Mast of the German press agency. The SPD has therefore made proposals for support. Specifically, she named a proposal from Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) for a financial supplement for recipients of help in order to be able to buy the surgical or FFP2 masks that are now required in some areas of life.

The left in the Bundestag is calling for FFP2 masks for everyone. According to the editorial network Germany, an application for the coming week of the meeting states: “In order for all people to have access to FFP2 masks, the federal government must ensure that they are available in sufficient numbers and available at affordable prices.”

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