German Council of Experts warns against easing too soon

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The German government’s CoV expert panel believes easing measures are possible in the coming weeks but warns against withdrawing too soon. “Opening too early carries the risk of a renewed increase in the burden of disease,” the expert panel’s sixth statement, released yesterday evening, said.

“Subvariant BA.2 must be expected to result in a prolonged or rebounding omicron wave compared to current estimates for BA.1.” Nevertheless, the expert panel unanimously concludes that “despite some uncertainties (…) a prudent withdrawal of individual infection control measures will be possible in the coming weeks.”

As conditions for a durable withdrawal of all nationally prescribed infection protection measures, reaching “a high inoculation ratio and parallel the responsible action of the citizens” is called. The vaccination target of 80 percent of the population set by the German government has not yet been reached.

Protection through masks effective

The expert council points to the effectiveness of protection by masks. “The option to use mandatory masks, especially in public places, should be maintained in principle,” it says. It could be lifted “temporarily” if infection levels are sufficiently low.

The expert council also points out that in the context of any opening steps, unvaccinated older people with a risk of a severe course of the disease are increasingly included in the infection process.

On Wednesday, the federal and state governments leaders will again discuss the further CoV course in Germany. On Friday, Chancellor Olaf Scholz had held out the prospect of initial opening steps, which are also being called for by some minister presidents of the German states.

  • source: ORF.at/agencies/picture: pixabay.com
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