Berlin (dpa) – North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) is calling for new concepts in the corona pandemic from January. “Society and the economy cannot last for another year,” Laschet told the Rheinische Post.
As of the turn of the year, “smart concepts should enable the long-term prospect of living with the pandemic,” he said. “With the approval of the vaccine, these concepts are realistic.”
Laschet continued, “We can’t shut everything down forever, and the state pays billions in outages month after month. A new model is needed from the new year. Permanent closures and subsequent compensation payments destroy the state in the long run. “
Meanwhile, Chancellery Minister Helge Braun is optimistic about the coming year in the Corona crisis. “The pandemic will lose its horror next year,” the CDU politician told “Handelsblatt”. “As an association, we must adhere to December and the months through March by observing AHA rules and reducing our contacts. Where that is not enough, budget cuts are inevitable. Then spring will come and hopefully the vaccine will. “
It was possible to stop the exponential growth in the number of infections at a level that challenges the health system, but not just overwhelms it. But 400 deaths a day is too many. “That’s why I would have liked more far-reaching resolutions in October.”
On the weekend at the start of Advent, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier also encouraged the population. Advances in medical research give hope that the virus will not permanently dominate everyday life, the head of state wrote in a guest post for “Bild am Sonntag”.
The president of the German Medical Association, Klaus Reinhardt, spoke out in favor of using more corona rapid tests than before. Priority should be given to healthcare facilities such as retirement homes or hospitals. “Later it is conceivable to carry out rapid tests for larger events, when they are allowed again,” he told the “Mannheimer Morgen”.
Reinhardt does not see the risk of an explosive increase in the number of corona infections during the Christmas holidays. “I think it is unlikely that Christmas will be a nationwide super-spreading event.” If people adhere to the infection protection rules, the temporary relaxation is justified and even recommended for psychosocial reasons.
Virologist Alexander Kekulé proposed a private corona reporting system for events from 20 people. “All organizers, including private ones, should be required to register participants,” he told the Funke media group’s newspapers (Monday). If a participant is positive, the organizer can warn everyone else. “This could implement a parallel reporting system that would be much, much faster at the private level and more willing to participate,” said Kekulé.
In view of Christmas, Kekulé said that “there is a serious special risk that many people over the age of 70 will become infected. And if they become infected, they have a nearly 10 percent risk of death. But I think we can control this risk ». The measures decided by federal and state governments last week include the possibility that the number of infections by Christmas could have dropped significantly. “Politicians are betting on declining numbers. If things turn out very differently, the Prime Ministers and the Chancellor will have a communication problem. “
According to Kekulé, he expects vaccination of the healthy general population from April to June. “The epidemic could then disappear in the summer and hopefully not return in the fall. That’s my optimistic scenario. “