German Health Minister suggests stricter winter COVID rules | News | DW

The German Minister of Health on Friday recommended that Germans still wear masks in public places inside, although this will be voluntary for the time being.

However, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said the country should re-prepare for stricter coronavirus rules as the winter months approach.

What exactly did he say?

Lauterbach said the country will have to adopt new rules for the winter compared to taking on “winter tires.”

This mention refers to a law that requires driving with special winter tires from October to Easter. The movement has responded to a report on the German website Welt am Sonntag newspaper. He said the government was considering a rule that it would be mandatory to wear internal masks at the same time.

And admitting that current data on infections did not justify the legal requirement to use masks today, Lauterbach – himself a trained epidemiologist – said it made sense to continue wearing masks indoors while.

“This should be a rule,” he said.

Before the coronavirus regulations were relaxed in Germany earlier this year, it was mandatory to bring machines to public places inside, such as supermarkets. People who use public transportation still have to cover their mouths and noses with the law.

No worries, but be careful

Germany is suffering from the expected “summer wave” of coronavirus infections.

Although Lauterbach said there was no need to panic, he stressed that the virus still posed a deadly risk to some, including the long-term risk of COVID for the general population.

“We are in control of the situation, but we have not resolved it.

The minister said experts are less concerned than they might be because the dominant variant of the omicron, for example, makes less harmful routes than the stray deltas. Many in Germany have also been vaccinated or cured of the BA.2 virus, which means that they are relatively well protected.

However, those infected with the first version of omicron may be at risk of re-infection with later versions of the variant, although if vaccinated and strengthened, the new findings were published in the weekly international journal. Naturehe proposed on Friday.

Germany has recently reported 50 to 130 coronavirus-related deaths a day.

Meanwhile, 80% of people over the age of 60 who are still considered vulnerable have not received a second booster shot.

Lauterbach asked them to do so, along with people who have a strong relationship with other people.

Action list before the cold months

The minister highlighted seven measures the government will take to prepare for the coming winter months. These were:

  • Prepare an immunization campaign with three different vaccines
  • Review the provision of free coronavirus testing to citizens and residents
  • Improving the provision and targeting of treatments that have been shown to be effective against COVID infections
  • In places where vulnerable people live, such as the improvement of hygiene arrangements in nursing homes
  • Provide more up-to-date electronic data on free intensive care beds
  • Review hygiene and contact measures in schools and kindergartens to reduce the need for closure
  • A revision of the German Infection Protection Act long before it expired on September 23rd

German city leaders have called on the government to keep up with the summer wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Markus Lewe, head of the German Association of Cities, told the newspapers of the Funke media group that a new Law for the Protection of Infections was needed before the summer parliament was broken.

He said it was becoming clear that the current legal measures were not enough. “The coronavirus pandemic should not continue to take us by surprise,” he said.

According to the latest data, the Robert Koch Institute for Disease Control in Germany said on Friday that the incidence rate for the last seven days was 427.8. It was lower than the previous day (480), but significantly higher than last Friday’s seven-day 318.7.

ar, rc / aw, jsi (dpa, epd, Reuters, AP)

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