How Germany is trying to prevent the second wave of coronavirus | Analysis of events in political life and society in Germany | DW


In Germany, they are increasingly talking about a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Some even think that it has already begun. “We’ve all missed a normal life. But so far the situation cannot be called normal,” says Susanne Jona, chairman of the medical association from Marburg. She believes that against the background of the number of people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which is growing again, a second wave of the pandemic has begun in Germany. “We are already in a situation where there is a second wave of infections, but so far without sharp jumps,” Yona told the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper.

Hospitals across the country are preparing for an increase in the number of patients with COVID-19, she said, but since the second wave will not be as sudden and rapid as the first, the number of beds for the infected should increase gradually. So that in a critical situation all the necessary resources are available.

There will be no repeated lockdown

German politicians are working to prevent a second lockdown (closure of factories, shops, schools) in the event of a second wave and, as far as possible, not to impose severe restrictions on social life.

“Our clear political conviction is that a situation like the one that took place this spring should not happen again,” said Carin Prien, Minister of Education of the Federal State of Schleswig-Holstein, in an interview with Deutschlandfunk. In addition, she encouraged her colleagues from other lands after the end of the summer holidays, if possible, return the children to school and start the usual learning process.

Schools must open but rules must be followed

Despite the danger of a second wave, a new school year starts in mid-August in six German federal states. Schools in Germany have been closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, students studied remotely from home. After the summer break, it won’t be easy to get back to your normal study routine.

Pupils at the school entrance in Schwerin

Pupils and teachers will have to get used to the new rules: avoid crowds at the entrance and exit of schools, in schoolyards and corridors; study in shifts so that there are not too many people in the school building at the same time; conduct lessons with a small number of students, as well as keep distance and wear masks outside the classroom (in schools in North Rhine-Westphalia and during classes). But many doubt that this will help.

“It makes no sense for children to keep their distance at school and greet each other on the bus and tram with hugs and kisses on the way to class,” says Markus Riemer, director of the Rostock gymnasium. After all, already now we can assume that students with coronavirus will also come to classes. According to the latest data, about 2.5 percent of German residents who returned from vacation and passed the coronavirus test were infected. At the same time, only 40 percent of vacationers in general voluntarily passed the test.

Mandatory testing of all visitors

German Health Minister Jens Spahn is currently working on a bill on compulsory testing for coronavirus: “We have an initial version of the document, but we want to coordinate it with the federal states, because they will have to apply the provisions of this law at train stations and airports. In the meantime, there is a two-week quarantine for all those entering Germany from countries at risk. “

Testing for coronavirus at Frankfurt Airport

Testing for coronavirus at Frankfurt Airport

Not everyone observes this prescription. For example, someone who flies from the United States to Berlin is handed information at the airport that he must report his arrival to the local health department. However, there is no data exchange between border services and the medical department. The rest of the family members who have not traveled outside the country must not comply with quarantine and can move freely.

Meanwhile, Munich-based virologist Ulrike Protzer warns that testing may not always be effective. If a person who returned from a trip immediately passed the test, but the incubation period has not yet expired, the test result will be negative, and the symptoms of the disease will appear only after 3-4 days. “You can only find out for sure whether a person is sick or not if you do a second test in 4-5 days. And this is the time to avoid contact,” Protser explained in an interview with ARD TV channel. But no one plans to retest.

Hygiene first and foremost

To contain the second wave of coronavirus infections until a cure for COVID-19 or a vaccine appears, you can only follow the rules of hygiene and behavior: wear masks, keep your distance, wash your hands, etc. But this requires discipline.

Corona Warn-App

Corona Warn-App

Recently, many Germans have ceased to adhere to all these rules, believing that the danger has already passed. Therefore, some federal states have introduced a fine for non-compliance with these rules, for example, the mandatory wearing of a mask on public transport.

Corona WarnApp and other technical means

Politicians hope that new technologies such as the Corona Warn-App will help prevent the rapid spread of the coronavirus. This mobile application helps to monitor the situation, receiving information about whether a person has been in contact with an infected person and whether there is a risk of infection. The Corona Warn-App in Germany has been downloaded to their smartphones by about 16.5 million people. There is also an app developed by the Robert Koch Institute that helps measure heart rate, steps taken, and other metrics.

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