Rising corona incidence: debate on vaccinations and schools | free press

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Berlin (dpa) – The debate over compulsory vaccination for school and daycare staff, the situation in schools after the holidays and the increasing corona incidence associated with more and more vaccinated people: the current corona situation is complex and there are many different questions. .

What are the current numbers?

The 7-day incidence has been increasing every day for a week. According to the Robert Koch Institute, it was 6.5 this morning. Exactly one week earlier, the value of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days was 4.9. The health authorities in Germany reported 646 new corona infections to the RKI within one day, there were 26 deaths related to the virus. According to the RKI, the reproduction number, which determines the rate of spread of the virus, was 1.15 yesterday. The number means that 100 infected people theoretically infect another 115 people. If the value is constantly above 1, the number of cases increases. If it is below 1 for a long time, the infection process decreases.

What’s happening today?

Chancellor Angela Merkel and Health Minister Jens Spahn (both CDU) visit the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Berlin. Merkel wanted to exchange information about current tasks, projects and challenges at the RKI, the cabinet announced in advance. In addition, the talks are about the influence of the vaccination campaign on the course of the pandemic. Afterwards there will be a joint press conference (12 o’clock).

The vaccination and the fourth wave

The president of the German Medical Association, Klaus Reinhardt, is calling for an intensified vaccination campaign. “I miss the TV commercial about vaccinations for the news. And then we have to provide information directly on the spot, precisely where the willingness to vaccinate was low until now. We have to approach the people,” said Reinhardt of the “Rheinische Post”. The vaccination campaign should involve not only sports associations, but also cultural associations and religious institutions. “Instead of prescribing, we need to be there.”

The extent to which the increased incidence rates will put a strain on the health system depends largely on vaccination coverage, Reinhardt said. “I think every adult has a responsibility to keep the incidence of infections low by vaccinating them – including to protect children. So far they are the big losers of the pandemic.”

Increase in incidence – less severe courses

The president of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI), Gernot Marx, told the newspaper: “We have currently vaccinated more than half of the adult population in Germany, which will be clearly noticeable in the occupation of the intensive care. care units. Therefore, with a renewed increase in incidences, we expect a significantly flatter curve for critically ill patients.”

The head of the German Hospital Association, Gerald Gaß, sees it that way too. With a view to the autumn, he told the “Bild”: “We expect much fewer corona patients in the clinics at the same incidence.” That is why he is also critical of the term “fourth wave”: “This only makes citizens fear that the increasing number of cases will cause intensive care units to fill up with Covid patients again – but thanks to the vaccination, that will not be the case.” to be.

From the point of view of intensive care physician Marx, caution is still warranted: “If infection rates rise and grow uncontrollably, we will again see a significant increase in critically ill patients requiring intensive care treatment. Because we must not forget: 40 million people in Germany have not yet been vaccinated.”

Opening schools?

“The federal government should use the summer months and do everything possible to ensure that schools can function normally again after the summer holidays,” FDP Secretary General Volker Wissing told the editorial network Germany (RND). “After such a long time, the alternatives of distance learning and alternate education are not an option.”

The chairman of the German Teachers’ Association sounds more cautious. “The first scenario that we all hope will become a reality is full face-to-face education with a safety phase of several weeks, where increased health protection measures remain in place,” Heinz-Peter Meidinger told the RND.

“But the truth also means that this will not be enough to prevent the fourth wave, as it will also spread beyond schools through contacts between unvaccinated youth.” Therefore, a “renewed phase of alternating lessons” should not be ignored when preparing for the next school year, according to the teacher president.

Mandatory vaccination for school and daycare staff

The demand for mandatory vaccination of staff in nurseries and schools continues to meet with criticism. Teacher chairman Meidinger argued in the “Augsburger Allgemeine”: As far as we know, teachers are very willing to vaccinate, so the percentage of teachers who have already been vaccinated for the first time in some states is close to 90 percent. The greatest risk of infection for children and adolescents therefore lies not with adults, and certainly not with teachers, but with their peers.

SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach confirmed to the “Rheinische Post”: “A vaccination against Covid-19 should be the voluntary decision of every individual. Politicians must and will keep their word here. That also applies to teachers and educators.” Human geneticist Wolfram Henn of the German Ethics Council called for mandatory vaccination of staff on Monday.