According to Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann, the federal government’s concept for the Corona autumn should provide for “a form of mask requirement”. “The effectiveness of masks for individuals indoors is undisputed,” said the FDP politician to the newspapers of the Funke media group.
“That’s why some form of wearing masks indoors will certainly play a role in our concept. We are already working with mask requirements in local public transport,” Buschmann continued.
At the same time, according to him, certain far-reaching interventions are out of the question for the traffic light coalition: “We agree in the coalition that there will be no more lockdowns, no blanket school closures and no curfews either.” These are “inappropriate” instruments in the third year of the pandemic”.
Buschmann is currently negotiating with Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) about the corona measures that should in principle be possible in the future. Because in September the legal basis for the now severely restricted basic measures will expire. At the same time, a renewed sharp increase in the number of infections is feared in the colder season.
On Saturday morning, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) gave the nationwide seven-day incidence as 752.7. The day before, the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants per week was 719.2 (previous week: 700.3).
However, experts have been assuming for some time that there will be a large number of cases not recorded by the RKI – mainly because by far not all infected people have a PCR test done. Only positive PCR tests count in the statistics. In addition, late registrations or transmission problems can lead to a distortion of individual daily values.
The health authorities in Germany recently reported 123,046 new corona infections (previous week: 95,919) and 134 deaths (previous week: 104) to the RKI within one day. Here, too, comparisons of the data are only possible to a limited extent due to the test behavior, late registrations or transmission problems.
While Lauterbach had already spoken out in favor of a mask requirement indoors, Buschmann had expressed reservations last month that he initially wanted to wait for an expert report on the corona measures that was now available.
The Minister of Justice warned that “what awaits us in autumn and winter” must be taken very seriously. Regarding the timetable, he said: “I am confident that we will have a concept at the end of the month, which we will then discuss with the federal states in August, and in September we will bring the amendment to the Infection Protection Act through Parliament.”
The Minister of Justice announced that he would create “clear and understandable rules”. As further stipulations, he mentioned that the measures can be proven to help – and that the rules are “conservative of fundamental rights, i.e. proportionate”.
Buschmann also held out the prospect of an “ambitious vaccination campaign” in old people’s and nursing homes. In addition, the traffic light ensures that “the best and most modern vaccines” are available in good time. To assess the corona situation, he relies on a “bundle of indicators”.
It is very important to him “that we finally get improved data from the hospitals”. The incidence has lost much of its meaningfulness. For example, sewage tests for the corona virus could also help to better predict waves of infection. “The data blind flight must come to an end.”
Meanwhile, there was further criticism of Health Minister Lauterbach, who had campaigned for second booster vaccinations on a broader front – not just among older people from 60 or 70 years of age. The CSU health politician Stephan Pilsinger therefore accused the social democrat in the “Augsburger Allgemeine” of frightening and confusing the population.
“Such a statement against the recommendations of the competent Standing Vaccination Commission and the European Medicines Agency is a slap in the face for everyone who believes in a comprehensible, evidence-based pandemic policy,” he told the editorial network Germany. Pilsinger spoke to both editors of a “stimulus program for the lateral thinker movement”.
Lauterbach had said that if you wanted to enjoy the summer without risk of illness, he would also recommend a fourth vaccination – “in consultation with the family doctor, of course” – for younger people too. The Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) has so far only recommended a second booster for those over 70 and some other risk groups.
Lauterbach defended his campaign for more second booster vaccinations not only among older people aged 60 or 70 on Saturday via Twitter.
The seven-day incidence would probably be 1500 to 2000 with unreported cases, he wrote on Twitter on Saturday. “It is therefore not wrong if I also recommend that younger people with a large number of contacts consider the 4th vaccination after consulting their family doctor. The 4th vaccination is better than the infection.”