Lauterbach: “Standing in front of a massive fifth wave”

Status: December 17, 2021 2:19 p.m.

The Omikron variant is spreading rapidly in Great Britain. After talks with British colleagues, Health Minister Lauterbach now warned: He was assuming a “massive fifth wave” in Germany.

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach expresses concern about the further course of the pandemic in Germany. With a view to the new Coronavirus variant Omikron, the SPD politician said in Hanover that he was assuming a “massive fifth wave”.

He is in contact with colleagues in the UK and their reports are worrying. “That means we really have to prepare for a challenge that we have not yet faced in this form,” said Lauterbach during a visit to the state government of Lower Saxony.

“Key Point of the Pandemic”

A spread of this virus variant in Germany can no longer be prevented, said Lauterbach. Even a mild course of the disease will not change the risk. “It would perhaps keep the number of deaths down for two or three weeks. But then the growth in the number of cases would have already consumed this advantage.” That means a great challenge for the hospitals, the intensive care units and the whole of society.

The minister said: “We are at a key point in the pandemic.” It is now necessary to stop the omicron wave as much as possible, emphasized Lauterbach. This could save time to equip as many people as possible with a booster vaccination. For these booster vaccinations, the vaccine from Moderna is currently available, which is just as effective as that from BioNTech / Pfizer, emphasized the Federal Minister.

Test, test, test on Christmas days

With a view to Christmas, Lauterbach appealed to all citizens to follow the principle when traveling: “We protect each other.” Everyone should be tested beforehand or at least test themselves – preferably several times. The minister made it clear that particular caution is required, especially for people without a booster vaccination.

The minister was critical of a ruling by the Lower Administrative Court of Lower Saxony, which overturned the 2G regulation in retail on Thursday. The decision surprised him. He did not criticize the courts, “that is of course forbidden,” said Lauterbach. “Nevertheless, I would like to point out that it makes no epidemiological or health-political sense to overturn such a rule now, especially in view of the wave of omicrons ahead of us.”

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