RKI calls for preparations for autumn and winter | free press

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Berlin (dpa) – The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) is now urging preventive measures to be taken due to an estimated increase in corona cases in the fall and winter.

In a strategy document published on Thursday, the RKI writes in a strategy document published on Thursday in which various scenarios are discussed. However, these should not be taken as predictions, but the purpose is to counteract their occurrence. According to models, most infections can affect adults under 60 and children under 12.

Under the assumptions made, there is a slow increase in intensive care unit occupancy, the seven-day incidence and hospital treatments until October, the RKI writes. This will then accelerate and peak in January/February 2022 before values ​​fall again. How high the peak values ​​turn out to be depends in the modeling on the assumed vaccination coverage and whether people change their behavior and reduce contacts: higher percentages and behavioral changes cause the curves to flatten considerably. However, such modeling is subject to a number of uncertainties.

According to the RKI, the population “should be informed at an early stage that there could be another heavy burden on health care in winter” and possible regional or local overload, for example with the so-called ECMO capacity (special machines for patients with severe lung failure). ). Exposure to respiratory infections such as flu and other pathogens is also expected, which were barely circulating due to contact restrictions in the preseason. This also applies to children and young people.

The RKI cites a “successful vaccination campaign”, “classic infection protection measures of the health authorities” and the targeted deployment of measures as recommendations for action. The RKI advises, for example, to plan booster vaccinations ‘now’, especially for the elderly and risk groups.

For example, the scenario is conceivable that in the very old, the longer the interval between vaccination and vaccination, more infections, so-called vaccination breakthroughs, could occur, the RKI writes. Serious outbreaks can occur in nursing homes.

With a view to schools and nurseries, the RKI points out, among other things, that architectural, architectural, organizational and technical measures “should be strengthened and completed by the time they open after the summer holidays”.

The institute stresses: “The idea of ​​achieving herd immunity in the sense of eliminating or even eradicating the virus” — that is, largely reducing or eradicating it — is not realistic. The aim of the vaccinations is therefore “to achieve a broad basic immunity in the population”. This provides comprehensive individual «protection against (serious) diseases» and also reduces virus circulation. Broad basic immunity is unlikely to be achieved this fall and winter, as the expected vaccination coverage of around 70 to 80 percent in adults is not yet sufficient.

The RKI has long been in favor of maintaining the basic rules against corona such as distance, hygiene, mask, ventilation and the corona warning app. The paper states that the number of “infectious contacts” should be further reduced through organizational measures such as the possibility of mobile working and participant restrictions for events. In case of illness and cold symptoms – not only related to Covid-19 – the RKI advises those affected to stay at home.