Covid-19: Germany worries about an upsurge in cases



Incidence rates on the rise, intensive care services fearing overload, outbreaks of contamination in retirement homes… The epidemic situation is once again worrying the authorities across the Rhine. This weekend, Angela Merkel, still chancellor until a new government is formed, said to herself ” worry “ facing a certain “Recklessness” Germans in recent weeks. And on Tuesday, November 2, to the federal executive committee of her party the CDU, she promised “Severe restrictions for the unvaccinated”. Daily tests in the workplace are envisaged, even containment measures.

72% of the vaccinated population

The number of infections is indeed on the rise with, on average, more than 19,000 new cases daily over the last seven days, almost as many as in March. Thanks to vaccination, however, the number of deaths is low. Germany counted 35, this Monday, November 1. For Thomas Mertens, president of the Standing Committee for Vaccination (STIKO), the increase in infections “Corresponds to what was planned”. “We cannot act as if we are surprised”, he said, recalling that a vaccine does not protect 100%. “72% of the population is vaccinated. It is insufficient “, he added at a press conference, recalling that not all infected people get sick, especially among children and the vaccinated population.

What worries governors and caregivers is especially the situation in hospitals where 2,000 patients with Covid are in intensive care. Admittedly, they were nearly 6,000 at the start of the year, but the services in question fear a rapid saturation. This is the case at the Charité hospital in Berlin, where Covid patients remain in the minority in intensive care, but are increasing rapidly. “We are watching this development with great concern”, explains Martin E. Kreis, member of the board of directors of this hospital. “It can be assumed that there will be a significant increase in new infections, especially among those who have not been vaccinated. Around 90% of Charité’s Covid-19 patients are currently not vaccinated ”, he adds. According to Martin Kreis, the shortage of medical personnel has increased over the past year and prevents a rapid increase in the number of beds in these services.

New measures are emerging

Faced with this, the authorities are trying to convince the reluctant to get vaccinated. The task seems difficult as the vaccination rate has stagnated since this summer and two-thirds of these people say they do not want, according to a survey. ” never “ change one’s mind. And if the idea of ​​compulsory vaccination for caregivers has been relaunched, with the appearance of several outbreaks of contamination in retirement homes, the three parties negotiating to form a government are reluctant to do so.

To limit the damage, the Vaccine Commission recommends vaccinating people over 70 and medical personnel a third time. Some also call for stricter rules in daily life with access limited to only people vaccinated and immunized in cafes, restaurants or places of shows. Some companies like Bayer have also decided to separate their employees, vaccinated and unvaccinated, in the canteen. However, the situation in schools is of little concern, despite particularly high incidence rates due to the absence of a vaccine for this segment of the population, and to the regular tests carried out twice a week in the classes. Faced with the resurgence of cases, the mask could however make a comeback. Seven German regions recently lifted the obligation to wear it to class.

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