Alternatives to Incidence: Countries Searching for a “Formula for Happiness” | free press

Berlin (dpa) – In assessing the corona situation, in addition to Baden-Württemberg and Lower Saxony, fewer and fewer federal states want to focus exclusively on the pure incidence values.

In a study by the German news agency (dpa), many state governments announced that they would use more criteria in the future to evaluate the infection rate.

The definitive “formula for happiness” referred to by Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) is still being sought. “It is clear that in addition to the incidence, contact follow-up and the situation in the hospitals are also looked at,” says the Bremen health service. Whether and which new warning levels will result from this, however, is “not yet definitively clarified”. The Ministry of Health of North Rhine-Westphalia is also continuing to work on the new regulations: “These have not yet been determined, as has the publication date.”

No agreement yet

At the Prime Minister’s Conference (MPK) last Tuesday, there was no agreement on common, new parameters that could serve as a basis for new restrictions or easing. The next day, Baden-Württemberg decided to remove the so-called seven-day incidence from the state’s corona regulation. This means that from next Monday, regardless of the development of the infection, everyone – if vaccinated, recovered or tested – can participate in social life. At the same time, Lower Saxony announced that it would include other assessment criteria in the Corona Regulation in addition to the incidence, such as the occupation of hospitals.

The number of corona patients in the clinics seems largely undisputed as an additional decision criterion. Some states have been doing this for a long time. The state of Berlin has been using three corona traffic lights for more than a year as indicators of political action, monitoring the occupancy of intensive care beds in addition to the current development of infections. Also in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, hospital admissions and the proportion of Covid 19 patients in intensive care units are included in the daily risk assessment.

The intensive care medicine association Divi is also in favor. Regarding the number of admissions to hospitals and intensive care units, as well as the use of the existing intensive care beds, President Gernot Marx of the Rheinische Post in Düsseldorf said: “In the intensive care units, these parameters are already included in the daily planning on site.”

Lauterbach: sufficient incidence

However, the SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach finds the seven-day incidence sufficient. You have proven yourself. “We do not need any further parameters to assess the infection rate,” he told the same newspaper. “The MPK’s decision to mandatorily test from 35 unvaccinated individuals is simple and correct.”

Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke (SPD) of Brandenburg argued at the beginning of this month for the use of further criteria. His Bavarian counterpart Söder is seen as a fan of the incidence value, but also thinks it makes sense to include the occupation of the clinic. In addition, the CSU boss wants to raise the threshold values ​​because, given the vaccination progress, he no longer sees a risk situation at an incidence of 50.

Schleswig-Holstein also argues for additional indicators and wants to arrange this at the latest at the next Prime Minister’s conference. Among other things, the vaccination quota must be taken into account, according to Kiel. The Rhineland-Palatinate government also strives for “a common system of different indicators”, but without going into details. The search for the “formula for happiness” continues in all countries.

The federal health ministry said the seven-day incidence was “an important, but not the only factor” in assessing the situation. There are other indicators such as vaccination coverage, the number of serious hospital cases, free intensive care capacities or the R-value. This indicates how many others an infected person infects on average. “We expressly welcome the fact that some countries are now looking to map this complexity into state rules,” said a ministry spokesman. He also pointed out that according to the state’s latest resolution, the 3G rule applies for an incidence rate from 35 – ie access to certain indoor areas only for vaccinated, convalescent or tested negative people.

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