Berlin (dpa) – The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) is recommending the immediate implementation of a comprehensive package of measures due to the emergence of an initial wave of the coronavirus Omikron type.
According to RKI’s tweet on Tuesday, the following should be in place until mid-January: “maximum contact restrictions”, maximum measures to protect against infection, maximum speed when vaccinating and reducing travel to “what is absolutely necessary.” Extensive companion communication is required to understand the measures.
In an accompanying strategy paper, the institute recommends, among other things, immediate implementation of the following steps: ban major events, and close pubs, clubs, discos, indoor sports facilities and restaurants (take-out may be sold). It also stipulated the necessity of extending the Christmas holidays in nurseries and schools. Then it must be checked whether classroom teaching, distance teaching, blended teaching or alternating can take place afterwards.
“2G/3G concepts need to be refined keeping in mind the Omikron variant,” RKI continued. Among other things, it says: “Access to shops for daily needs and public transport with 3G”.
Omicron is highly contagious
One must assume there is “significant” transmission, including those who have recovered and those who have been vaccinated twice. “The vaccination rate should be targeted as high as possible,” writes the RKI. Vaccination shows should also be maintained during Christmas and New Years Eve. “The option for a further reduction in contacts, for example by restricting mobility, should be established in areas with particularly high viral activity”
The Omikron wave is still in its infancy in this country, writes RKI. However, a look outside shows that “this alternative will lead to a wave of infections that have not yet been observed.” Despite remaining doubts, preliminary analyzes indicated that Omikron could be responsible for the majority of cases in Germany at the beginning of January 2022 – it could reach tens of thousands each day. Under current conditions, the doubling time in this country is about three days.
afraid of excess
RKI notes that the number of new cases of the fourth wave due to the delta variable is declining. However, hospitalization and use of intensive care units remain at a very high level. “If the dynamics of the upcoming Omikron wave do not slow down, the large number of cases expected in a short period of time means that Germany’s healthcare structures will be overburdened.” Further damage to critical supply structures should also be expected, for example in the case of transport and production chains, energy, police and fire services.
From the point of view of the RKI, the further cycle depends on the behavior of the population on holidays and the unexpected strength of the influenza cycle as another pathogen. “The greatest effects on Omikron wave dynamics should be expected from consistent and comprehensive contact restrictions and the use of infection prevention measures.” Maximum accelerated vaccination has a reinforcing effect with a delay of one to two weeks.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 211221-99-464526 / 5
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