Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) has again warned against underestimating or accepting corona infections in the current summer wave. The original idea that you become infected and then be immune forever has not been confirmed, the SPD politician told the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger”.
He pointed out that it is very easy to get infected with the current BA.5 virus variant, even if you were infected with the previous BA.2 variant.
According to new studies, BA.5 is also more likely to become seriously ill and require hospital treatment. In Germany you can already see an increase in hospitalizations and more transfers to intensive care units, the minister explained.
He opposed the presentation by the head of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, Andreas Gassen, who had described the omicron variant “almost as a peace offering from the virus”. Accepting such an offer would cost many with their lives.
“Many people with risk factors would then become seriously ill or die.” The risk of long Covid also increases. “Therefore we have to solve the problem not with constant infection, but with better vaccines,” said Lauterbach.
Lauterbach, however, defended himself against the accusation that his choice of words in the pandemic (“killer virus”) was unnecessarily drastic. “I use few words that are apocalyptic,” said the health minister.