Berlin (dpa) – Given the persistently high mortality rate, criticism of the federal government’s strategy to combat the corona pandemic is growing. This is especially true of the vaccination campaign, which according to the opposition and the SPD is not progressing quickly enough.
To prevent a development like the one in Britain, where a likely much more contagious variant of the virus had led to a massive increase in new infections, the cabinet on Wednesday passed a regulation that provides for stricter rules for corona testing upon entry from risk areas. According to the Ministry of Health, this virus variant has so far only been found “in individual cases” in Germany.
In the Bundestag, opposition politicians criticized Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) for not organizing the vaccination against Covid-19. But when it comes to vaccination, the federal states are also responsible. Because they have to make sure on the spot that people who are already entitled to a vaccination can also use it – and that no vaccine is wasted, for example because the beneficiaries do not come.
The logistics and speed of the vaccinations are embarrassing, said FDP party leader Christian Lindner. The start of the vaccination was raided by the government. The group leader of the group from the left, Amira Mohamed Ali, took over the statement by the health minister that the major vaccination campaign could be shocking at the beginning and asked, “When will it stop shocking?”
“This largest vaccination campaign in our history is a collective task,” said Spahn. “No country, no party, no government can beat this virus alone, it can only be done together.” This can only work if the vast majority of citizens are ready to be vaccinated year-round. The corona vaccinations in Germany had started more than two weeks ago. Two approved vaccines can now be used.
Anyone who has been in a high-risk area in the past 10 days should show a negative corona test no later than 48 hours after entry. This provides for a new regulation that will apply from next Thursday. In areas with particularly high contamination levels or where new, more contagious virus variants are circulating, the test result must be available prior to entry and it must also be possible to present it to the airline.
Spahn said, “Travel abroad to risk areas does not fit the pandemic situation. If you don’t want to do without it, you will have to be tested on your return. Virus mutations pose an additional health risk, so the spread in Germany should be avoided as much as possible. Which area falls into which category should be updated on the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) website.
The left, FDP and the Greens also criticized the November delay in aid to companies affected by the shutdown. On Tuesday, the Ministry of Economic Affairs announced that the payout would now begin. «November Help! It is now January 2021, ”said Katrin Göring-Eckardt, leader of the Green Party.
She also argued for more clarity for citizens regarding vaccinations: “It cannot be the case that the granddaughter has to search the Internet so that the 80-year-old grandfather can get a vaccination appointment.” Many of the currently applicable rules are also completely ‘alien to life’. It is absurd that brothers and sisters are not allowed to visit grandma together as long as the offices remain open.
The AfD accused the federal government of causing panic in the corona crisis. “Finally end this disproportionate lockdown,” said Member of Parliament Sebastian Munzenmaier, calling instead for greater protection for residents of elderly and nursing homes.
The Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller (SPD), called for clear statements about the vaccine deliveries. “It would be a disaster for all of us to invite the vulnerable groups, they get an appointment, they stand in front of the vaccination center, but the vaccine is not there,” he said in the Bundestag.
The German health authorities reported 19,600 new corona infections to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) within one day. In addition, 1,060 new deaths were recorded within 24 hours, the RKI announced. On Friday, the highest point of 1,188 new deaths was reached.
The number of new infections reported within seven days per 100,000 inhabitants (incidence of seven days) was 155.0 on Wednesday morning. The previous peak was reached on December 22 at 197.6. The differences between the countries are enormous: Thuringia had the highest incidence with 324.2 and Saxony (304.4). Bremen had the lowest value with 83.7.
“The decline in 7-day incidents during the holidays and New Year is not continuing,” said the RKI management report Tuesday evening. “Instead, significant increases can be seen in all age groups, especially in the younger age groups (between 15 and 39 years).”