Experts strongly caution against Omikron. The RKI increases the risk assessment. From the epidemiologist Zip’s point of view, the next wave will likely outpace all previous waves. It is advised to take more stringent measures before the New Year.
Berlin (dpa) – Due to the Omikron variant of the coronavirus, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has tightened its risk assessment. For people who have been vaccinated twice and who have recovered, the risk of infection is now seen as “high,” the RKI announced on Twitter.
For those who have not been vaccinated, it remains ‘too high’. For those vaccinated with a booster, the institute rates the risk as moderate. In general, the health risks to the population are rated as “very high,” the institute wrote in its revised risk assessment. And warns of a sudden increase in the number of cases.
“The reason for this is the occurrence and spread of the omicron variant, which according to the current state of knowledge (from other countries) spreads faster and more effectively than previous virus variants,” writes RKI. The current development is “extremely worrying”. If Omikron continues to spread, it is feared that there will be another increase in serious illnesses and deaths and that the intensive care treatment capabilities available across Germany will be exceeded.
Epidemiologist Haju Zeb also warned of the potential omicron wave strength. “It is possible that the number of new infections and people in hospital will exceed anything we have seen so far,” the expert from the Leibniz Institute for Research in Prevention and Epidemiology in Bremen told the German Liberation Network (RND). Preliminary data from Great Britain will show “that the disease severity in the Omikron variant is similar to that in Delta”. In January in particular, a high level of hospitalization is expected in Germany.
Al-Zeeb: Communication Restrictions “Purposeful and Effective”
In light of this, Theeb called for rapid action. “We need stricter measures before the New Year.” Above all, connection constraints are “highly useful and effective”. People should focus on a small, steady group of people again and also test themselves regularly. “I consider between three and seven people to be appropriate.” But despite contact restrictions and vaccinations, the general spread of Omicron can no longer be prevented, according to Zip. The new restrictions could slow the rate of spread. This is “absolutely necessary so as not to overburden the health system”.
Last Thursday, the RKI Weekly reported that the RKI index assessed the risks to the health of the population in Germany who have not been vaccinated or have only been vaccinated once “overall very high”. For those who were fully vaccinated, it was considered moderate.
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