Hospitals fear the Omikron wave and are calling for countermeasures

Status: December 18, 2021 9:28 a.m.

There are great concerns about the spread of omicrons, the hospital society fears a “situation that goes beyond everything we have experienced so far”. Politicians must take countermeasures “very early”.

According to the German Hospital Association (DKG), the situation in clinics in Germany could worsen significantly if the prognoses for the Omikron variant of the coronavirus prove to be true. If it is confirmed that this is much more contagious than Delta and the processes are comparably difficult, in the worst case scenario, you will have to deal with a large number of seriously ill patients at the same time, DKG boss Gerald Gaß told the dpa news agency. “For the hospitals, this would be a further aggravated situation that goes beyond everything that we have experienced so far.”

Gaß called on politicians to analyze the findings on Omikron from other countries “very carefully” and, if the fears were confirmed, to take countermeasures “very early” with contact restrictions. “We must then not lose any time, then we have to act immediately, even before the numbers go up in Germany and an overload of the hospitals can no longer be prevented.”

Lauterbach warns of the omicron wave

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach had previously made it clear that he was expecting a massive fifth wave. “We have to assume that the wave of omicons that we are facing, which we cannot prevent from my point of view, will be a massive challenge for our hospitals, for our intensive care units, but also for society as a whole,” said Lauterbach when visiting the Lower Saxony state government in Hanover.

He is in contact with colleagues in the UK and their reports are worrying. “That means we really have to adjust to a challenge that we have not yet faced in this form,” said the SPD politician. The omicron wave can be delayed, but not prevented. “The only thing that reliably protects against a severe course of the Omicron infection is the booster vaccination,” said Lauterbach.

Because: Omikron will hit the unvaccinated hard

Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister Stephan Weil expressed concern about the threat of the spread of the Omikron variant of the corona virus. He also called again to get vaccinated to prevent overloading the health system. “The best protection against the next wave is a high vaccination rate. Omikron will hit the unvaccinated particularly hard,” said the SPD politician of the dpa news agency. “The scientists assume that we will have a hard wave of infections in January. The problem is that this fifth wave is on top of the fourth wave,” said Weil.

Because of the sheer number of infections to be feared, an increasing burden on the health system is almost inevitable, said Weil. “That is why the measures we are taking now are also preventive fire protection from Omikron.”

Lower Saxony’s state government has announced a so-called Christmas break for the period from Christmas Eve to January 2. Warning level 3 will then apply nationwide, with the corona rules being tightened again. Among other things, dance events are prohibited, test requirements tightened and the number of permissible contacts reduced. On the other hand, the Lüneburg Higher Administrative Court (OVG) overturned the already applicable 2G rule in retail. For this reason, new rules for the shops are to be announced next week.

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