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Lost opportunities: RKI recommends a tougher lockdown | Free press

Berlin (dpa) – It’s just not enough. According to an analysis by the Robert Koch Institute, the behavior of German citizens in the second corona lockdown is still too inconsistent to get the pandemic under control in time. The previous pandemic rules don’t go far enough for the Federal Institute either.

“These measures that we are taking now – for me this is not a complete lockdown,” said RKI president Lothar Wieler on Thursday. “There are still too many exceptions and it is not strictly enforced.” In view of the more contagious mutations of the coronavirus, he added, “There is a possibility that the situation will get worse.”

According to the statistics of the RKI, it has not been possible so far to reduce the contamination rates in Germany enormously. The institute reported more than 25,000 new Covid cases on Thursday. This means that despite small bright spots that do not show a trend yet, the plateau is much too high. The coupon for the week-long high number of infections is available every day in old people’s and nursing homes, in intensive care units and when looking at the number of deaths. With 1,244 people reported as many deaths within 24 hours on Thursday as never before since the start of the pandemic.

The RKI therefore considers a stricter lockdown based on calculation models to be useful. Rules that lead to fewer contacts must be tightened, says epidemiologist Dirk Brockmann. “All models agree that this should be done more massively and effectively.” Germany must enter a phase where the incidence is falling substantially and rapidly. Like in the spring.

The Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann (Greens), is already calling for “further and tougher measures,” he announced on Thursday. He also wanted to urge Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) to bring the videoconference with the other prime ministers scheduled for January 25 forward to next week.

“The aspect with the dead depresses me enormously,” said RKI chairman Wieler. We find a lot in nursing and retirement homes. “The facilities need to be better protected. Eugen Brysch, board member of the German Patient Protection Foundation, says more clearly.” The many infections and high death rates among the 900,000 nursing home residents are mainly due to poor hygiene, he criticized. checks by the health authorities and there are still no mandatory tests before each start of work and visit. “That’s the poisonous mixture.” So far, federal, state, municipal and local institutions have failed in this vital task.

Inconsistent compliance with the pandemic rules in Germany can have many faces for Wieler: for example companies that have good hygiene concepts for their offices – but then large groups of colleagues come together for lunch in the canteen. “We need more responsible employers,” he warned. And home office where possible.

But it also needs more responsible citizens. For example, according to the RKI’s mobility analysis, Sunday outings in December hardly decreased – very different from the first lockdown in the spring. There were shorter journeys at Christmas, but according to Brockmann’s analysis, overall mobility has decreased by only 10 to 15 percent compared to the previous year. That is not enough.

“There is room for improvement in all areas,” says Wieler. He paints a picture of the behavior in the country: “It’s like standing in the rain, not opening the umbrella and then saying that the umbrella is not working.”

At the moment, according to Wieler, the mutation situation in Germany cannot be assessed yet. But one thing is clear: travelers from Great Britain and South Africa brought the more contagious virus variants with them. So far there are about 20 documents in Germany. That’s why Wieler’s call: please don’t travel!

To protect everyone, it is also about rules that the RKI boss has been repeating like a mantra for weeks: meeting as few people as possible, and if so, best outside. Keep your distance, wear masks, wash your hands. Stay at home and work at home whenever and wherever possible.

But the reality is often different: When the 83-year-old asks for a distance of 1.5 meters at the checkout in the supermarket, other customers in Berlin yell at her – after all, you’re wearing masks!

Vaccination as a way out of the pandemic will take time. With 840,000 people, about one percent of the population is now vaccinated, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) said. This is how the way out of the pandemic began. However, everyone should be vaccinated twice. “At the same time, we are still in the worst phase of the pandemic,” said Spahn. The number of infections and deaths is very sad. Wieler tried to put it positively: “We will have the pandemic under control by the end of this year.” That’s another eleven and a half months – and how many dead?

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