Corona pandemic: Health ministers are planning for the fall

Status: 06/23/2022 2:52 p.m

In view of the increasing number of infections in the summer, the federal and state health ministers want to draw up a plan for autumn as quickly as possible. Concrete measures are to be presented at the beginning of July.

The federal and state health ministers want to make preparations for a more critical corona situation in autumn and winter. A heavy wave must be expected, said Federal Minister Karl Lauterbach in Magdeburg after two days of consultations. No finished concept has yet been presented on the controversial issue of continuing to offer free citizen tests. A package should be presented, which he will finalize with Finance Minister Christian Lindner, said Lauterbach.

The Minister of Health emphasized that from his point of view, citizen tests were “absolutely necessary” even beyond the previous regulation until the end of June. However, it is no longer necessary to do every citizen test, and tests without a reason should be restricted. The tests are important, for example to prevent major events from becoming “superspreaders”, i.e. events in which numerous people become infected at the same time.

Test centers are to be controlled more closely

Lauterbach also announced that the test centers should be controlled more closely. He complained that there had been cases in which services not rendered had been billed and others in which there had only been negative results. The SPD politician also referred to a requirement of the budget committee of the Bundestag that the federal states should participate in the financing, which was previously only borne by the federal government.

The chair of the state department heads, Petra Grimm-Benne from Saxony-Anhalt, made it clear that the states saw no leeway for this. With a view to the Corona provisions in the Infection Protection Act, which expire on September 23, she announced a special ministerial conference for July 1. The report of a committee of experts to assess previous pandemic measures should also be presented on this day, as Lauterbach said. Based on the findings, the measures for the following period should then be presented on Friday next week.

Seven-day incidence rises to more than 500

According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the seven-day incidence rose to 532.9. The 500 mark was exceeded for the first time since May 12 with a value of 502.4. Within the past 24 hours, the RKI also registered 119,360 new infections and 98 new deaths from corona infected people. Since tests are only incomplete, the number of infections is actually assumed to be higher.

The number of new corona infections in Germany has recently increased significantly again. This is mainly due to the rapidly spreading Omicron subtypes BA.4 and BA.5. According to the latest information from the Robert Koch Institute, these two variants, which first spread strongly in South Africa and Portugal, are by no means predominant in Germany. But experts assume that this will change.

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