Debate over corona emergency: intensive care physicians warn of “wrong signal”

Status: 23.10.2021 12:20 p.m.

The number of new infections in Germany is increasing significantly, but the vaccination rate hardly. Nevertheless, Health Minister Spahn is calling for the epidemic emergency to run out. This continues to meet with mixed reactions.

The move by Health Minister Jens Spahn to end the corona emergency in Germany continues to cause discussions. The scientific director of the intensive care register of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive and Emergency Medicine (DIVI), Christian Karagiannidis, spoke in the Deutschlandfunk from a wrong signal, the corona emergency should end. This gives control options out of hand.

Karagiannidis emphasized that there is currently a significant increase in the corona numbers, at the same time there are still too many unvaccinated people. He reckons that the incidence will continue to rise and will remain at a high level until next spring. Karagiannidis advised to continue to adhere to the so-called AHA rules – that is, keep your distance, wear hygiene and wear a mask. He appealed to employers to voluntarily offer more home offices again.

Cities fear “patchwork”

City Council President Burkhard Jung warned of a “patchwork quilt” and called for the so-called epidemic situation of national scope to be maintained or for a transition period to be introduced. “There must continue to be a nationwide framework in the fight against Corona. The federal states must be able to continue to stipulate rules such as 3G or even 2G and the wearing of masks indoors over the winter,” said the Mayor of Leipzig to the newspapers of the “Funke Mediengruppe”.

Spahn wants to end the “state of emergency”

Spahn had recently spoken out in favor of not continuing the determination of an epidemic situation of national importance beyond November 25th. This determination is the basis for regulations and central corona measures in Germany. It is about ending a state of emergency after 19 months, said Spahn in the Deutschlandfunk. This should restore the powers of the federal government to a normal state.

He stressed that this did not mean “Freedom Day” or the end of all measures. These could also be regulated without the state of emergency. For this purpose, either the federal regulatory authority would have to be changed, or the state parliaments would have to decide on corresponding powers at the state level, said Spahn.

Spahn’s announcement is “ultimately logical”

The head of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV), Andreas Gassen, on the other hand, supports an early end to the state of emergency. Spahn’s announcement was “ultimately logical,” he told the “Rheinische Post”. This also does not mean the immediate end of all measures. “But we will experience that there will be regionally different approaches, which of course also depend on regional factors such as the vaccination rate, the number of infections, age distribution and hospital occupancy,” said Gassen.

“It was to be expected that infection rates would rise in autumn and winter and this is not only the case with coronaviruses.” Adults should therefore get vaccinated. “At a certain point and with a sufficient lead time, we can then move on to placing the necessary protective and defensive measures in the hands of the citizens,” said Gassen.

Lauterbach “surprised” by Spahn’s announcement

The SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach told the “Passauer Neue Presse” that Spahn’s announcement in a phase in which there were increasing numbers of infections, vaccination breakthroughs, stagnating vaccination rates and other problems had surprised him.

Should the determination of the epidemic emergency actually expire, he called for a replacement regulation. Measures to combat pandemic must remain legally secure, said Lauterbach. The prime ministers of the federal states also demanded that there must continue to be a national legal basis for the corona protective measures.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) is now expecting the number of corona cases in Germany to continue to rise. “It is to be expected that the rise in the number of cases will accelerate in the further course of autumn and winter,” wrote the institute in its new weekly report on the pandemic.

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