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Corona during the Christmas season: Karl Lauterbach urges caution

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Corona during the Christmas season: Karl Lauterbach urges caution

“Violent wave of infections” Corona during the Christmas season: Lauterbach urges caution – and advises vaccination, masks and home office

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach warns: “Corona remains dangerous. It is not a cold that you can safely catch every season” (archive image)

© Kay Nietfeld / DPA

It coughs a lot – corona infections are increasing again. Given the pre-Christmas crowds on the shopping street and at the mulled wine stand, it’s no wonder. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach calls for caution – and for risk groups to be vaccinated, among other things.

Christmas markets, company parties, family reunions: Advent is here – now without it for the first time Corona protection requirements. And according to a survey, fears of infections no longer play a major role for most people.

Almost two thirds tend not to worry about infection during Advent or Christmas, according to the survey by the opinion research institute YouGov on behalf of the German Press Agency. That’s why 36 percent are not worried at all, rather than 28 percent. 6 percent are very worried and 24 percent are somewhat worried. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach once again called for caution in view of the many new infections.

“Corona remains dangerous”

“Corona remains dangerous. It is not a cold that you can safely catch every season,” said the SPD politician to “Bild am Sonntag”. Rather, Corona often also affects the blood vessels or weakens the immune system and therefore far too often cannot be completely cured. Lauterbach had recently made it clear that calculations based on wastewater monitoring data, among other things, currently show a large corona wave.

“If you want to avoid getting sick under the Christmas tree as much as possible, you should get vaccinated as quickly as possible in the next few days – ideally against flu and corona at the same time,” said Lauterbach. The Standing Vaccination Commission recommends corona vaccinations for people aged 60 and over and with risk factors such as chronic illnesses. The minister also advised “it’s better to wear a mask on buses and trains.” If possible, you should “stay in your home office rather than enjoy office company”. Shortly before Christmas, it is “best to avoid large indoor celebrations”.

Lauterbach recommends vaccination, masks and working from home

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There are now no requirements for masks, tests and quarantine as there were in winter 2022. According to the survey, some people believe that some caution is warranted. 42 percent are in favor of taking a rapid test before family celebrations if you have cold symptoms. 18 percent completely agreed to do it, and another 24 percent somewhat agreed. However, 48 percent were negative. 2081 people aged 18 and over were surveyed from December 4th to 6th.

A good third of those surveyed said that it would be better to avoid Christmas markets with many visitors as a precaution – 15 percent completely agreed, another 21 percent somewhat agreed. 58 percent think little or nothing of it. According to their own statements, 8 percent were completely in favor of going into crowded stores wearing a mask to buy gifts, while another 15 percent expressed their approval. 69 percent tended to be negative.

Lauterbach had already hinted that the mood seems to be more optimistic than the situation. “At the moment the danger posed by Covid is actually being underestimated,” he said after a specialist meeting on long-Covid impairments. According to his information, the incidence is currently around 1,700 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), this high level now has a different meaning than in the pandemic due to greater immunity through vaccinations and infections. This is not reflected in the intensive care units for the time being.

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“We are currently having a violent wave of infections” – not just Corona

Since autumn, a preparation adapted to the Omicron subline XBB.1.5 has been available for vaccinations, which is intended to provide better protection against circulating variants. Lauterbach recently expressed his disappointment that only three million people had noticed this so far – more than 20 million people alone are 60 or older.

“We are currently experiencing a severe wave of infections. Not only Corona, but also other viruses are currently in circulation. Some people are getting really sick,” said Rhineland-Palatinate Health Minister Clemens Hoch (SPD) to the dpa. Wearing an FFP2 mask on trains or in the supermarket is very sensible behavior. Lauterbach recommended wearing a mask or getting tested when in doubt, even when visiting people from risk groups. “Averted infection is like an extra Christmas present.”

yks DPA

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