ARCHIV - 08.07.2022, Berlin: Karl Lauterbach (SPD), Bundesminister für Gesundheit, äußert sich im Bundesgesundheitsministerium über die erste Stellungnahme der Regierungskommission für eine moderne und bedarfsgerechte Krankenhausversorgung. (zu dpa ««Spiegel»: Verhinderter Lauterbach-Entführer gesteht Umsturzpläne») Foto: Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

The currently valid Federal Infection Protection Act expires on September 23rd. The key points for a new Infection Protection Act are already being discussed and initiated.

As Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach revealed to the German Press Agency (DPA), there are already confidential negotiations – for example with the Ministry of Justice under the leadership of FDP politician Marco Buschmann.

During a visit to the USA, Lauterbach emphasized: “We need measures, that’s clear. But that is not in dispute either, we will be prepared.” According to the Minister of Health, the number of cases would increase dramatically “if we go into autumn like this”. Which points are currently being discussed? And where is there disagreement?

According to current regulations, anyone who is infected with the corona virus should go into quarantine at home immediately.

The head of the “German Foundation for Patient Protection” Eugen Brysch made it unmistakably clear to the German Press Agency: “The isolation protects. Because this prevents others from being infected”. The head of statutory health insurance physicians, Andreas Gassen, on the other hand, is calling for all isolation and quarantine obligations to be lifted and has thus started a controversial debate.

According to the current status, people suffering from corona must go into quarantine at home for five days. Anyone who works in healthcare and has contracted the virus must show a negative corona test via a rapid or PCR test before returning to work.

If you have proven contact with a person infected with corona, you should immediately go into five-day isolation. However, this is only an urgent recommendation, not a requirement.

Gassen advocates completely repealing the current regulations on the obligation to isolate. As a reason, he states that infected people without symptoms are currently also obliged to isolate themselves. This “creates the staff shortages in the clinics and elsewhere,” said the head of the statutory health insurance physicians to the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” (NOZ). Instead, you have to go back to normality: “Anyone who is sick stays at home. Anyone who feels healthy goes to work.”

The FDP also shares this view. Federal Minister of Finance Christian Lindner pleaded for a high degree of personal responsibility and “specific measures that guarantee as much social life as possible”.

The German teachers’ associations, on the other hand, spoke out strongly against lifting the obligation to isolate people infected with corona. Andreas Keller from the “Education and Science Union” told the “Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland”: “Giving up self-isolation now would be tantamount to contagion given the current number of infections.”

On Twitter, Karl Lauterbach spoke out in favor of continuing to adhere to the obligation to isolate: “Infected people must stay at home. Otherwise, not only will the number of cases increase even more, but the workplace itself will become a safety risk.

When asked about the vaccine supply, the head of the statutory health insurance physicians criticized the health minister’s objectives. Lauterbach’s target of allegedly 60 million vaccinations in autumn and winter, Gassen described to “NOZ” as “unrealistic”.

“The KBV did the math: With a second booster for everyone over 60, a first booster for all younger people and a generous contingent for the unvaccinated […] we’ve calculated a generous amount of around 30 million vaccinations,” says the KBV boss.

However, according to the AFP news agency, the minister firmly rejected this criticism: “I never claimed that we would have to vaccinate 60 million people in the fall.”

Because it is not yet possible to foresee which possible new corona variants will establish themselves in autumn, choosing the right vaccine could become an important key issue.

For this reason, the government ordered several vaccines at the same time, explained the Federal Minister of Health. “We bought in such a way that we can definitely offer everyone the vaccine that will be the best,” says Lauterbach.

Karl Lauterbach and Andreas Gassen also have different points of view when it comes to the need for a second booster vaccination.

While the Minister of Health is also calling on those under the age of 60 to have a second booster vaccination administered, the head of the statutory health insurance physicians advises against it: “I think it’s wrong to recommend a fourth vaccination across the board for 30- or 40-year-olds. ” According to Gassen, Israeli studies would show that “a second booster in younger healthy people does not make sense.”

It has now been scientifically proven that FFP2 masks offer good protection against corona infection.

Although the FDP often puts the brakes on the regulation of personality-restricting corona measures, Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann advocates further regulation on the use of FFP2 masks. According to the 44-year-old FDP politician, a “form of mask requirement indoors” will “certainly play a role” in the future protection concept for indoor areas.

According to the current status, the so-called citizen tests are only offered free of charge for certain groups of people. These include children up to five years of age, visitors to hospitals and nursing homes, pregnant women (but only in the first three months) and people who currently share a household with an infected person. If you want to be tested (voluntarily) because you are about to attend a major event, you currently have to pay your own share of three euros.

Because a new corona wave is feared for autumn, the federal and state governments are currently discussing whether corona tests for attending major events should be reintroduced as mandatory.