RKI boss: Lockdown is a «tool» against the third wave | Free press

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Berlin (dpa) – The head of the Robert Koch Institute, Lothar Wieler, has emphasized the central importance of the lockdown in the fight against rising corona rates.

“We cannot stop this rise unless with a new lockdown for the country,” Wieler said at an online event at the German embassy in Washington. Other “tools” to contain the third wave are currently not available.

The RKI assumes that about 80 percent of the population would have to be immune to the virus to stop another wave. “Until that is achieved, we will not know for sure,” said Wieler. Until the vaccination campaign has progressed, known precautions such as wearing masks and limiting contacts should be followed.

On the other hand, the chairman of the German Medical Association Klaus Reinhardt called for more options than lockdown to be taken into account in the fight against the corona pandemic. “The permanent imprisonment of a yo-yo lasting a month is exhausting people. It should not be our only answer to the third corona wave, ” Reinhardt told the editorial network Germany (RND).

“There are promising approaches that even partially allow steps to be taken back to normal social life.” Cities like Tübingen or Rostock showed how it should be done, Reinhardt said. “They combine free quick tests with local relaxation.” Regarding the related widespread use of rapid testing, he said, “Along with rapid population vaccination coverage – and for this we urgently need more vaccine and more effective digital contact tracking – that would be a real alternative to the back and forth. from the past few months. “

The Saarland is planning that direction and wants to revive large parts of public life after Easter. The news channel NTV reported. From April 6, cinemas, fitness studios and outdoor restaurants on the Saar will reopen. A prerequisite for guests and users are negative corona rapid tests, which must not be older than 24 hours.

Contact restrictions are also being relaxed: according to information from the NTV, ten people from different households are allowed to meet again in Saarland. For this step out of the lockdown, the Saarland must be declared a national model region. A press conference with Prime Minister Tobias Hans is scheduled for Thursday morning.

At the same time, Chancellor Angela Merkel will again face parliament in a government statement in the Bundestag. At the request of the FDP, their corona policy is also discussed again. Merkel surprisingly destroyed the Easter dormancy period, which had only recently been adopted, and apologized to the population. Head of the Chancellery Helge Braun (CDU) also appeared on the ARD talk show «maischberger. that week »self-critical:« I played my part. Therefore, I agree with the apology. “

SPD Secretary General Lars Klingbeil told the “Rheinische Post”: The Chancellor had admitted a mistake. “With all due respect, however, it is also clear that such mistakes should not happen again.” He added, “That’s the shared responsibility we all have in politics. The people of this country rightly expect us not to lose ourselves in responsibilities and nighttime sessions, but to implement the two critical challenges in the fight against the pandemic: vaccination and testing. “

Several prime ministers said it was not Merkel’s only fault. There was also clear criticism of the design of the state rounds. North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Armin Laschet said on Bild’s live program that such far-reaching decisions should not be made overnight. “That was a mistake.” Braun said of ARD, “We need to prepare these things differently in the future.”

The next prime minister’s conference on the Corona situation is scheduled for April 12.