When the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) first announced more than 10,000 new corona infections on Thursday morning, President Lothar Wieler expressed concern about the pandemic situation in Germany. “In the meantime, the situation in general has become very serious,” Wieler said in Berlin.
Shortly before, on this eventful morning, the RKI had also updated the list of risk areas and tightened the noose around Germany. There are now also warnings against traveling to Switzerland, Poland and almost all of Austria. The only exception in Austria is the southernmost state of Carinthia.
This makes the border with Denmark the only one that Germans can cross with a clear conscience. The only Danish risk area designated by the RKI is located on the east coast of the country.
For the rest, the RKI also declared large parts of Italy, Ireland, Liechtenstein and Great Britain as risk areas, with the exception of the Channel Island and the overseas territories. However, the Canary Islands are removed from the list.
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German holidaymakers who are in the Italian regions of Rome, Milan, Venice, Tuscany or Sardinia during their autumn holidays should now be quarantined or “released” when they return – unless they drive or fly home before Saturday.
The risk area classification and associated travel warnings from the Federal State Department do not imply a travel ban, but should have the greatest deterrent effect on tourists. It occurs when a country or region exceeds the limit of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days.
More and more German city districts recently exceeded these limit values, Wednesday there were 148. The incidence is now even nationally at more than 50. According to RKI boss Wieler, the current increase in corona figures is mainly related to infections in the private sector.
Wieler: Virus can spread uncontrolled regionally
Wieler said on Thursday that outbreaks in transport or after overnight stays did not play such a big role or were rather rare. “Infections in schools (…) are so far not common and much less frequent than we know from flu outbreaks, for example, but it is clear that the more the number of cases increases, the more schools will be affected,” said Wieler.
Wieler appealed to citizens to strictly adhere to the corona rules. Because: it is now possible that the coronavirus will spread uncontrolled regionally. To slow the spread, it is essential to keep your distance, take hygiene measures and, where necessary, wear nasal masks and ventilate to your heart’s content.
RKI boss Lothar Wieler warned again on Thursday that the virus could spread uncontrolled regionally
He currently sees no reason to change the strategy, although that could change if the outrageous demands from some health authorities increase. These are “serious and worrying,” said Wieler. But even under these circumstances, one should make every effort and not give up, but proceed “to the best of my knowledge and belief”.
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He pointed out that in some other countries, the tracing of contacts had been discontinued a few months ago with concomitant consequences because they were no longer successful – Sweden and Great Britain, for example.
The RKI chief explained that deaths were higher in the spring than now in the fall and said that at the start of the pandemic, Germany was to some extent surprised by the speed of the spread. The protection of risk groups such as the elderly or sick people has not yet been so good.
Nursing homes and hospitals are now better protected. In addition, many more young people would become infected in the fall. However, the number of serious illnesses and deaths could rise again, because older people cannot be completely isolated in the long term, Wieler warned. Slow penetration of the virus has now been observed in these facilities. (with dpa)