The virologist Christian Drosten expects a very high number of new corona cases after the summer holidays in Germany. “I hope that the school holidays will slow down the increase in the number of cases. But from September, I’m afraid we will have very high case numbers,” said the head of the virology department at the Berlin Charité in an interview published on Thursday evening. If nothing is done, there will be “a great many absences due to illness” in working life.

“We are actually seeing an exponential increase in the number of cases again,” warned Drosten. “The BA.5 variant is simply very transmissible, and at the same time people lose their transmission protection from the last vaccination.” In other countries, one can see that with very high case numbers, the number of hospitalizations and deaths also rose again. “Unfortunately, that will be the case for us too. Overall, however, far fewer people will become seriously ill and die than in 2021.”

He does not believe that by the end of the year one will have the impression that the pandemic is over, said the corona expert. In January, Drosten had expressed the hope that Germany could declare the pandemic over in the course of the year.

The virologist recommended avoiding infection as much as possible – also because of the risk of Long Covid. “Unfortunately, an infection is inevitable in the long term. And little by little, mucosal-specific protection is actually forming, which I assume makes the overall population immunity more resilient.”