World Medical Director demands that lockdowns not be categorically ruled out

Thu 21st Jul, 2022

Image by Fernando ZhiminaicelaAccording to the chairman of the World Medical Association, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, the Infection Protection Act should again allow far-reaching measures to protect against Corona. "Anyone who categorically rules out measures such as contact restrictions or lockdowns from the outset has neither understood the meaning of the law nor grasped the seriousness of the situation," Montgomery told the newspapers of the Funke media group (Wednesday). "An infection control law is supposed to open up opportunities and save lives."

That's why, he said, it must include the "toolbox" from which policymakers can draw when the situation calls for it. "Whether one uses the instruments later depends on the respective assessment of the situation. That they are needed, however, should be indisputable."

Epidemiologist Hajo Zeeb of the Leibnitz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology told editorial network Germany, "Only if new dangerous variants appear do we also have to talk about a lockdown." Otherwise, however, "such radical measures" are not necessary for the fall and winter.

At the beginning of the year, mainly at the insistence of the FDP, Corona provisions in the Infection Protection Act were significantly scaled back. They form the legal basis for measures in the states and define possible instruments that policymakers can use in the pandemic. The traffic light coalition is currently discussing a successor provision in the Infection Protection Act because the currently valid provisions expire on September 23.

Operators of clubs and discotheques are following the current debate "with the greatest concern," said the chief executive of the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (Dehoga), Ingrid Hartges, to the Funke newspapers. She cautioned that measures such as mandatory masking or rapid testing for vaccinated and unvaccinated (1G) at major events should only be introduced if they are necessary to contain the pandemic. "The deciding factor must be how dangerous a virus variant is and how high the hospitalization rate is," Hartges said.

Jörn Holtmeier, managing director of the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry Auma, told the Funke newspapers, "The federal and state governments already determined in May 2020 that trade fairs are not major events. The trade fair industry in Germany expects the federal and state governments to adhere to this agreement in the third Corona year." In the coming fall/winter alone, he said, there will be many "important international world-leading trade fairs" in Germany. "Political communication in its undifferentiated form about possible restrictions is increasingly endangering Germany as the world's number one trade fair location," he warned.

Meanwhile, Munich-based corona expert Clemens Wendtner called for the possibility of prescribing the Covid 19 drug Paxlovid for at-risk groups as a precaution in light of the current relatively high infection rates. Paxlovid has proven itself well in practice, but it is crucial to take it early, the chief physician of infectious diseases at the Munich Clinic Schwabing told the Augsburger Allgemeine (Wednesday). "I am therefore of the opinion that people who belong to a vulnerable group should have the drug in their cupboard at home."

Image by Fernando Zhiminaicela


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