Share at around 50 percent: omicron subtype BA.5 prevails in Germany

Share at around 50 percent
Omicron subtype BA.5 predominates in Germany

The subvariant BA.5 is now responsible for every second corona infection. While the Robert Koch Institute continues to warn of caution against infection, virologist Stöhr currently sees no reason to wear a mask or to keep your distance.

In the corona pandemic in Germany, the omicron subline BA.5 is now predominant. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) speaks in his weekly report to Covid-19 from a share of around 50 percent. However, this data refers to the week before last. Higher values ​​can currently be assumed. The RKI also recorded a further increase in the seven-day incidence and a slightly increasing burden on the healthcare system. This applies in particular to intensive care medicine, it said.

As can be seen from the DIVI intensive care register, the number of people infected with corona treated there has been increasing again for a few days: after a good 600 patients at the beginning of the month, it was 810 as of Thursday. According to the RKI report, the variant BA.5 had the week before had a share of 32 percent. “The shares of the sub-line BA.2.12.1 and BA.4 each increased to 6 percent,” write the experts. Not every positive sample is examined for the sublines, but only one random sample.

In view of the rising incidences due to the more widespread use of BA.4 and BA.5, the RKI continues to call for compliance with the recommendations for avoiding infection. Virologist Klaus Stöhr, on the other hand, currently sees no reason for stricter restrictions. “To put it very clearly: wearing masks and keeping your distance is not necessary at the moment,” he said in an interview with Ippen Media.

“Danger that peak will get bigger in winter”

On the one hand, there are no signs of the healthcare system being overburdened. On the other hand, the measures only push the infections backwards. “You won’t prevent them anyway. This increases the risk that the peak will get bigger in winter,” said the scientist, who is a member of the expert committee for assessing the corona restrictions.

Stöhr also criticized data gaps in this country. It is unclear which age groups or sections of the population have not yet been vaccinated or are naturally immunized by surviving infections. “If this were recognized by studies, you could start a targeted vaccination campaign. Other countries know better.”

He thinks it’s right that the free citizen tests should soon no longer be accessible to everyone, said Stöhr. “We should go back to normality with the tests. The normality is: You carry out a test on sick people if the result is relevant to the therapy.” The exception, however, are hospitals and nursing homes, where it is also about avoiding infections and protecting vulnerable groups.

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