The number of reported deaths related to the coronavirus has surpassed the 1000 mark for the first time, peaking. Within one day, the German health authorities transmitted 1,129 new deaths to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), according to the RKI figures from Wednesday morning. In addition, 22,459 new infections were reported. Last Wednesday (December 23), 24,740 new infections and the previous high of 962 deaths were reported.
Before Christmas, the RKI had announced that the current figures were only partially comparable with the values of the previous week, as it expected a lower number of tests and fewer reports from the health authorities at the turn of the year. Still, the number of new deaths on Wednesday morning was significantly higher than a week ago.
The number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants (seven-day incidence) reported to the health authorities within seven days was 141.3 on Wednesday morning. Its previous high was reached on December 22nd at 197.6. However, the differences between the federal states are enormous: Saxony had the highest incidences on Tuesday with 330.0 and Thuringia with 255.1, Lower Saxony had the lowest value with 79.6.
The RKI has counted 1,687,185 detected infections with Sars-CoV-2 in Germany since the beginning of the pandemic (as of December 30th, 00:00). The total number of people who died with or with the involvement of a proven infection with Sars-CoV-2 rose to 32,107 by Wednesday. The RKI stated the number of those who had recovered at around 1,302,600.
According to the RKI report from Tuesday evening, the nationwide seven-day R value was 0.67 (Monday: 0.74). This R value means that 100 infected people infect 67 other people. The value represents the occurrence of the infection eight to 16 days ago. If it is below 1 for a long time, the infection process subsides. In its report, however, the RKI emphasizes that at the turn of the year, corona cases are only displayed, recorded and transmitted with a delay, “so that the R-value may also be underestimated”.
Schäuble: Can’t snap away the poor vaccine
Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble has rejected allegations that the federal government has not secured enough corona vaccine doses for Germany. “I can understand the criticism, but I still think it’s wrong,” said Schäuble New Osnabrück newspaper. “We cannot make our impatience the measure of all things and snatch the vaccine away from people in poorer regions of the world.”
Critics had reproached the EU and Germany for having ordered too little vaccine, which is why other countries around the world are making faster vaccinations.
However, the aid organization Caritas Germany pointed out on Monday that the developed countries had already reserved most of the global vaccine production. Only 14 percent of the world population lived in these countries. The organization expects that in the coming year in 70 poorer countries only ten percent of the population could be vaccinated.
Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) rejected criticism of the pace of the corona vaccinations that have started in Germany and of the amount of vaccine available. Germany ordered a lot of vaccine. The absolute amount ordered changes little in how many cans there are at the moment. At the moment, the vaccine is scarce, said the Federal Minister of Health. Germany expects more than 130 million vaccine doses from the manufacturers Biontech and Moderna. “That alone would be enough in the next year to offer anyone who wants to be vaccinated.”
Spahn emphasized that Germany had made a conscious decision to “go the European route” in procuring the vaccine. This also precludes negotiating again bilaterally with the manufacturers in parallel.
“Special rights” for vaccinated people: constitutional lawyers contradict this point of view
In the debate about a possible lifting of corona restrictions, constitutional law experts disagree with the view expressed by several politicians that there should be no “special rights” for vaccinated people.
“As soon as it is certain that there is no longer any risk of infection from vaccinated people, there is no constitutional legitimacy to further restrict the basic rights of those affected,” said Hans-Jürgen Papier, former President of the Federal Constitutional Court picture-Newspaper. He had “constitutional concerns” when the state itself dictated to the private sector which privileges they were allowed to grant – “as long as these did not lead to an exacerbation of the infection rate”.
The former Federal Minister of Defense and constitutional lawyer Rupert Scholz also sees a possible violation of fundamental rights here. “Anyone who wants to prevent alleged ‘special rights’ or ‘privileges’ for corona-vaccinated people by law and invokes solidarity with those not yet vaccinated is twisting the facts,” he said Picture-Newspaper. In truth, it is not about solidarity, but about the question of whether citizens who are demonstrably no longer contagious should continue to be patronized.
Ulrich Battis, constitutional lawyer and professor at the Humboldt University in Berlin, said that he assumed that the same rules would initially apply. “It is still too early for concrete measures in this area. The situation is still confusing,” he said Passauer Neue Presse. There are only a few vaccinated people and the vaccine is scarce. The exact effect of the vaccine was not yet clear. In Germany, moreover, the prohibition of discrimination and the protection of privacy apply.
Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU) said on “Bild Live” that he was “torn back and forth”. With a view to restaurants or concerts, he said: “I think there is a difference between state action or public services of general interest: U-Bahn, S-Bahn, how do all those involved behave? Or whether someone also says in the private-commercial, he just wants to open it to Immune or not. ” However, he added that it was unclear whether people who had been vaccinated could continue to infect others. That makes “a very decisive difference”. He recommends waiting for the findings.
Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) had spoken out against granting vaccinated people privileges, even in the private sector. That divides society. SPD legal expert Johannes Fechner suggested that equal treatment be enshrined in law.
Spahn: Corona lockdown beyond January 10th
Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU) expects the corona protective measures to continue beyond January 10th. “As of today, the numbers are far from where we need to go,” said Spahn on Tuesday evening in the ARD “Tagesthemen”. So there will no doubt continue to be action after January 10th.
“To what extent, we have to decide with the federal states at the beginning of January,” added the minister. It is foreseeable, however, that the numbers will not be so low by then “that we can simply return to the pre-lockdown mode”.
The current contact restrictions, which came into force on December 16, continue to apply until January 10. The aim of the nationwide restrictions is to reduce the number of new corona infections per 100,000 inhabitants to a maximum of 50 within one week. On January 5th, the heads of government of the federal states will hold another consultation with Chancellor Merkel.
Coronavirus mutation detected in NRW
The mutation of the coronavirus, which was initially detected in Great Britain, has now been proven to have arrived in North Rhine-Westphalia. “The State Center for Health was informed by telephone yesterday afternoon by the RKI that the mutation of the coronavirus known from Great Britain had been detected in a person from the Viersen district and thus for the first time in North Rhine-Westphalia,” said the North Rhine-Westphalia Ministry of Health on Tuesday. The local health department is now investigating the case with the new additional information.
As the district of Viersen announced, the infected was a 58-year-old who fell ill at the beginning of December and has since recovered. The man was not infected in Great Britain, but from a colleague from the Czech Republic. In the past few days, the mutated coronavirus variant B.1.1.7 had also been detected in patients in Baden-Württemberg and Lower Saxony. According to scientists, it is significantly more contagious than the previously known version.
Hospital society warns of financial bottlenecks
The German Hospital Society is sounding the alarm in view of the corona-related operating restrictions: “If the federal government does not significantly increase aid, nationwide clinics will no longer be able to pay their employees’ salaries in the first quarter of 2021,” said the President of the Hospital Society, Gerald Gaß, of the editorial network Germany . “The money from the standard care is missing.” The hospitals only had limited financial resources.
Two thirds of all clinic operators expect losses in 2020 as a whole, as the current hospital barometer of the German Hospital Institute (DKI) shows, the one from Berlin Daily mirror (Tuesday) is available. 18 percent of the almost 2,000 clinics with 1.3 million employees rate their current economic situation as good.
In mid-December, the federal government opened a new rescue package for the hospitals. According to the concept of the Ministry of Health, they receive compensation payments in areas that are particularly exposed to corona if they forego postponed interventions and thus keep beds free. Of this, however, only 25 percent of the clinics are recorded, explained Gaß. The association president suggested that the clinics should receive their budget on a monthly basis based on 2019 and that they should be billed precisely at the end of 2021.
Criticism of the allocation system for vaccination appointments
The health policy spokeswoman for the Union parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Karin Maag (CDU), has criticized the appointment of the corona vaccinations. “It cannot be that you start a vaccination campaign and then cannot get any appointments,” said the Stuttgart member of the Bundestag Augsburger Allgemeine. She tried in vain to reserve a vaccination appointment for her 85-year-old mother via the nationwide patient service on 116117. She was referred to the cell phone app of the same name. “But appointments are not yet activated in the app.”
These are “rookie mistakes,” said Maag. “That annoys me.” According to the newspaper, the Federal Ministry of Health said that the federal states were responsible for vaccinations and appointments. “That is a country matter,” a spokeswoman is quoted as saying. According to her, the federal states can use the appointment system behind the patient number, but they do not have to. Some countries wanted to forward the appointment allocation to their own systems on 116117.
RKI: More than 18,000 people vaccinated
One day after the official start of vaccinations against the coronavirus, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) published the first figures on the campaign: According to this, more than 18,000 people have already been vaccinated. The total number of vaccinations on Monday morning was 18,454 (without Hesse, data as of December 28, 2020, 8:00 a.m.).
At the beginning of the campaign, residents of old people’s homes and nursing homes, people over 80 years of age as well as medical staff and nurses in homes and clinics will be vaccinated. Corona vaccinations were officially started in Germany on Sunday. Occasionally, however, people had already been vaccinated on Saturday.