After a long descent, the corona numbers are rising again in Germany and are feeding the fear of a fourth wave. According to the Robert Koch Institute, the important seven-day incidence increased for the fifth day in a row and was 6,2 infected per 100 inhabitants on Sunday. Before that, it had decreased almost continuously for two and a half months. The health authorities reported 000 new infections nationwide. That was almost 745 more than a week ago.
This is the start of a race between the spread of the more contagious Delta variant and the vaccination campaign. According to the authorities, a vaccination quota of more than 75 percent must be achieved in Germany in order to avoid any heavy burden on the health system in the autumn. So far, however, only 42 percent of the population have been fully vaccinated.
"The utmost vigilance, caution and prudence."
The first state governments call for caution. Bavaria's Minister of Health Klaus Holetschek With a view to the more contagious Delta variant, (CSU) demanded “the utmost vigilance, caution and circumspection. I consider the loud calls to lift the protective measures to be absolutely premature, ”said Holetschek, who is also chairman of the conference of health ministers of the federal states. “Wearing a mask, keeping your distance and vaccination are still the most effective means that each individual can counter the virus themselves. Despite the low incidences, we must not let up in our efforts. "
In the past few days, top politicians had spoken out in favor of easing the situation soon. So had Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) campaigned for the lifting of all corona restrictions as soon as all people in Germany have received a vaccination offer. A spokesman for Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) warned on Sunday against drawing too fast conclusions from the rising incidences. “The observation period is still too short,” he said. It could also be a matter of temporary fluctuations.
"The children don't deserve that."
Meanwhile, the dispute over the proper protection of children and young people is escalating within the governing parties. SPD health politician Karl Lauterbach rejected the demand from Friedrich Merz (CDU) back sharply to start normal classroom teaching again after the holidays, regardless of the further course of the pandemic. “The children didn't deserve that,” said Lauterbach and warned of “school classes being contaminated”. Children would have protected adults, made sacrifices, and should now be sent into a field trial on long-term effects without vaccination.
Other European countries are making it clear how quickly the situation can change. In the Netherlands, the number of new infections every day rose almost tenfold within a week. Parliament is interrupting its summer break because of the situation. In Great Britain the seven-day incidence is already back above 280. Nevertheless, Premier wants Boris Johnson announce on Monday that all Corona rules in England will be lifted on July 19th.