According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the seven-day incidence is 243.7 on Wednesday. However, experts assume that a large number of infected people will not be recorded by the RKI. In addition, China is currently sending almost four million people into a corona lockdown near Beijing. You can find all the news in the Corona ticker on FOCUS online.

10.15 a.m .: In view of the expected EU-wide approval of the first Covid 19 boosters adapted to Omikron, the immunologist Carsten Watzl sees the Standing Vaccination Committee (Stiko) as responsible. He hopes for a recommendation from the committee as soon as possible on the question of which groups the preparations should be used for, said the Secretary General of the German Society for Immunology of the German Press Agency. He is already receiving inquiries from general practitioners.

Based on the known data, Watzl considers a recommendation for a second booster vaccination with the new preparations only likely for certain groups, such as people over 60 years of age, people with a suppressed immune system or with previous illnesses. “I would be very surprised if the Stiko said all adults should be re-vaccinated.”

The European Medicines Agency EMA has announced a meeting of its responsible committee for Thursday: It is about applications from Biontech/Pfizer and Moderna for approval of Covid-19 vaccines that are adapted to the Omicron sub-line BA.1. According to a letter from Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD), around 14 million doses of the new boosters should come to Germany in the two weeks from September 5th, subject to approval. The EMA is currently testing, among other things, a corona vaccine from Biontech/Pfizer that has been adapted to the current Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5.

Wednesday, August 31, 9:07 a.m .: The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) gave the nationwide seven-day incidence on Wednesday morning as 243.7. This emerges from the case numbers of the RKI from 6.40 a.m. The day before, the value of new corona infections per 100,000 inhabitants and week was 247.3 (previous week: 275.3; previous month: 551.8). However, this information only provides a very incomplete picture of the number of infections. Experts have been assuming for some time that there will be a large number of cases not recorded by the RKI – mainly because 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 49,303 new corona infections (previous week: 52,939) and 181 deaths (previous week: 147) 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. In general, the number of registered new infections and deaths varies significantly from weekday to weekday, since many federal states do not transmit them to the RKI, especially at weekends, and report their cases later in the week.

The RKI has counted 32,145,157 proven infections with Sars-CoV-2 since the beginning of the pandemic. The actual total number is likely to be significantly higher, as many infections go undetected.

11.40 a.m .: In the run-up to an important Communist Party congress in China, the country imposed a corona lockdown on several million people. Since Tuesday, almost four million people in the Hebei province near Beijing have had to stay at home until the end of the week. In addition, more than 13 million people in the neighboring port city of Tianjin have to undergo PCR tests. 80 corona cases had previously been found there.

The authorities want to use the measures to prevent major corona outbreaks. China remains the only major economic power in the world to follow a strict zero-Covid strategy, with individual outbreaks being immediately combated through lockdowns and mass testing. Experts assume that the omicron variant, which is particularly difficult to contain, has recently spread to various larger cities in China.

Among other things, China’s largest and economically most important city, Shanghai, was locked down for two months in the spring. Numerous companies and factories had to temporarily shut down their operations. In view of the forthcoming congress of the Communist Party in autumn, the procedure was tightened again.

President Xi Jinping wants to secure a third term in office at the 20th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party this fall – something none of his predecessors have been able to do before. However, Beijing’s zero-Covid strategy has caused economic growth in China to slow down.

11:37 a.m .: The number of beds and their occupancy has hardly changed in German hospitals in 2021 compared to the previous year. As the Federal Statistical Office announced on Tuesday in Wiesbaden, the total number of 483,532 beds corresponded to the previous year’s level. These included 27,394 intensive care beds and 7,494 so-called intermediate care beds – a treatment level between intensive care and normal wards.

According to the statistics office, the figures are annual averages. The deviations from 2020 were therefore less than one percent at the federal level. At 1886, the number of hospitals also corresponded to the level in the first year of the corona pandemic.

According to the statisticians, however, the pandemic also presented the clinics with “great challenges” last year. Keeping bed capacities free and tightened hygiene concepts meant that treatments that could be planned were postponed. In addition, many people would probably have avoided hospitalization if they had not considered it absolutely necessary.

According to the information, both the number of treatment cases and the bed occupancy in 2021 were well below the level before the pandemic. The number of hospital treatments last year was only 16.7 million, while the bed occupancy rate was 68.0 percent. In 2019, 19.4 million treatments were registered with an occupancy rate of 77.2 percent.

According to the statistical office, the number of beds and their occupancy are the first preliminary results of a survey. Final and detailed results are expected to be published in mid-November 2022.

Tuesday, August 30, 8:27 a.m .: The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) gave the nationwide seven-day incidence on Tuesday morning as 247.3. This is evident from numbers that reflect the status of the RKI dashboard at 5 a.m. The day before, the value of new corona infections per 100,000 inhabitants and week was 242.8 (previous week: 288.5; previous month: 578.1). However, this information only provides a very incomplete picture of the number of infections. 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 54,504 new corona infections (previous week: 60,411) and 119 deaths (previous week: 146) 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. In general, the number of registered new infections and deaths varies significantly from weekday to weekday, since many federal states do not transmit them to the RKI, especially at weekends, and report their cases later in the week.

The RKI has counted 32,095,854 detected infections with Sars-CoV-2 since the beginning of the pandemic. The actual total number is likely to be significantly higher, as many infections go undetected.

10.20 a.m .: On the flights of Chancellor Olaf Scholz, masks are now compulsory again in government aircraft. After criticism because wearing masks was only recommended on a trip to Canada, the Chancellery tightened the corona rules again for the head of government’s day trip to Prague on Monday. “In view of the public debate over the past few days, the Federal Chancellery has decided to make it mandatory to wear masks throughout the flight, in addition to a current PCR test,” said a government spokesman on request.

The test regulations have also been tightened. In addition to a PCR test no more than 24 hours before departure, all passengers also had to take a rapid test prior to check-in. The Air Force relaxed the corona rules for government machines in July. Since then, there has no longer been a general obligation to wear masks, only a recommendation. However, the Federal President, Chancellor or Minister have the option of ordering additional protective measures.

Monday, August 29, 2022, 7.30 a.m.: Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach warns of a possible virus variant in autumn. If there is no virus variant change, then Germany will not get into an epidemic situation. “Nevertheless, we need tools for emergencies,” said Lauterbach. The legal status of the epidemic situation of national scope was the basis for stricter measures last winter than are currently planned for autumn – such as contact restrictions and school closures.

Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann told the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” (Monday): “I don’t believe in scaremongering at all. There are currently no signs of such virus variants anywhere.” The FDP man added with regard to the epidemic situation: “The Bundestag would have to agree to reactivation. There is no majority in the coalition for this. Because the Free Democrats said hell would have to open up among us before we agreed to that.”

3:55 p.m .: In the fall, stricter guidelines for pandemic protection are approaching again. The federal cabinet launched a draft on Wednesday that provides for more extensive corona rules from October 1st to April 7th, 2023. The countries should be able to impose them and extend them in critical situations.

But there is criticism because the Infection Protection Act does not provide any limit values ​​for when a situation is considered critical. “The desire for simple limit values ​​to assess the corona situation is as understandable as it is misleading. Every state health minister with pandemic experience should be aware that the infection process is far more complex than three or four numbers,” said Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach of the “Welt am Sonntag”. “But it’s true that we need a better overview.”

Lauterbach continues: “But we can do it. The pandemic radar that we are currently expanding will give the countries a good impression of how the situation is developing. A well-founded danger for the federal state in the light of many individual parameters provides the best legal certainty.”

Sunday, August 28, 7.30 a.m .: According to a study by the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), the corona death statistics from the Robert Koch Institute only partially reflect reality in the omicron wave. According to this, only 46 percent of the people who are recorded in the RKI statistics as corona deaths actually died of corona in the omicron wave. With the Delta variant, it was still 85 percent.

“That means only around half of the ‘corona deaths’ reported to the RKI actually fell victim to the virus when omicron appeared,” said Stefan Kluge, director of the clinic for intensive care at the UKE, of the “Bild am Sonntag”. “Only very rarely does someone die of omicron who has been vaccinated and has no additional risk factors.” Risk factors are: very old age and therapies used in cancer, organ transplants or rheumatism to suppress the immune system.

The death statistics have “no clear database”, criticizes intensive care physician Michael Albrecht from the University Hospital Dresden: “In my opinion, one should distinguish between Covid-19 as the main and secondary diagnosis.”

At the request of the newspaper, the Federal Ministry of Health informed the newspaper that they were working together with the RKI on new, daily updated queries to the hospitals. Graduation is imminent.

There has already been criticism of the RKI in the past that too many cases are listed as corona deaths in the statistics. The federal government announced in April: “The statistics of the Robert Koch Institute include the corona deaths for which there is laboratory-confirmed evidence of a Covid 19 infection and who died in relation to this infection.” dying of Covid-19 is higher for people with certain previous illnesses. In practice, it is therefore often difficult to decide to what extent the corona infection contributed directly to death.

Both people who died directly from the disease (“died from”) and people with previous illnesses who were infected with the virus and for whom it cannot be conclusively proven what the cause of death was (“died with”), would be recorded, according to the announcement by the federal government.

It is always at the discretion of the health department whether a case is sent to the RKI as “deceased of” or “deceased with” Covid-19. A large proportion of the reported deaths are reported as “died from the reported disease”.

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