On Sunday evening, Anne Will discussed the effectiveness of the new Corona regulations with two scientists and three policy makers. Labor Minister Hubertus Heil used the program to appeal to the citizens.
The corona numbers are skyrocketing and there is no end in sight. For this reason, the federal and state governments recently agreed on countermeasures – these include, for example, the 3G rule at work and contact restrictions. But can Germany even break the fourth corona wave? Anne Will discussed this question with her guests on Sunday evening.
The virologist from the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research, Melanie Brinkmann, explained where there is potential for improvement. Above all, she saw a need to close vaccination gaps as quickly as possible. In her opinion, politicians have not been sufficiently proactive in vaccination campaigns and have reached too few people.
“The unvaccinated are driving the pandemic,” said Will’s scientist. A vaccination rate of just under 68 percent, as it currently exists in Germany, would have been sufficient for the original variant of the virus. In view of the more contagious Delta variant, however, this is no longer the case.
Regarding the amendment to the Infection Protection Act, she said: In some areas where the incidence is low, 2G and 3G regulations could possibly be sufficient to slow down the infection rate. In other areas, for example in Saxony or Bavaria, there is an urgent need to consistently reduce contacts.
The current development is no surprise to the virologist: She is “incredibly frustrated” that politicians have not yet listened to the warnings from science. Many of her colleagues feel the same way. They are “stunned about the situation we are in,” said the expert.
Prime Minister Hans admits mistakes
The Saarland Prime Minister Tobias Hans said that he did not foresee that the Corona numbers would “go up so massively” in November, after initially falling in autumn. That is why they believed that measures could be relaxed at this point in time.
When Wills asked whether he was reproaching himself for the current situation, Hans admitted that he was “not inclined to say that we did everything 100 percent right”.
Will put the same question to SPD Labor Minister Hubertus Heil. However, there was no clear answer from him either: “Anyone who knows me knows that I belong more to the caution team and consistently,” said the SPD man.
Heil: “Get vaccinated”
Heil used his appearance at Will for a direct appeal to the citizens. While he made sure that he was also looking directly into a camera, the SPD man called out: “Get vaccinated if you haven’t already done that!” Anyone who has already been vaccinated should get a booster vaccination.
Brinkmann took the wind out of his sails a little. She thinks it is “totally good” that he calls for a vaccination, but it is currently much more about reaching people who did not see “Anne Will”. “But we’re here now,” Heil replied dryly.
Strack-Zimmermann: Pandemic leads to “social upheaval”
But on Sunday evening it was not just about vaccinations and the number of infections: FDP member of the Bundestag Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann also referred to the “major social problems” associated with the pandemic.
From their point of view, the pandemic has led to “social upheavals”, the consequences of which will probably still be felt in years to come. As examples, she cited fifth graders who were unable to write correctly because they had missed lessons. Overall, there are many people for whom the situation has led to depression.
The professor for health communication at the University of Erfurt, Cornelia Betsch, said: “You can see very clearly that the load is increasing.” From their point of view, support is necessary at this point.
In addition, clear communication on the part of politicians is essential in order to get the situation under control. The majority of people willingly adhere to the corona measures, according to the expert. However, poor communication and slow action would leave these people behind. Against this background, it is also better to formulate rules nationwide so that all citizens understand them.
In the new week, in some cases significantly more stringent countermeasures will come into force in Germany. The particularly affected federal states of Bavaria and Saxony are again significantly restricting public life.