Drosten in the coronavirus podcast: “This virus simply forces a lockdown with a certain number of cases” – policy

According to virologist Christian Drosten, a temporary lockdown in Germany would make sense. “If the load gets too great, you should take a break,” said the Charité scientist in the episode of the “Coronavirus Update” published by NDR-Info on Tuesday.

“This virus is non-negotiable. This virus simply forces a lockdown in a certain number of cases. At the moment, the incidence in Germany is still relatively low. “If we were to step on the brakes now, it would have a very lasting effect. That would save us a lot of time. ”

Drosten described the advantage of a temporary lockdown, which could also make exceptions, for example, such as open schools: “Everyone knows from the start that it is limited in time.” About three weeks – from a scientist’s point of view, that’s a little more than a quarantine period.

“The incidence is then significantly reduced and, under certain circumstances, also reduced in the long term”. That’s a win for everyone. These planned mini-lockdowns, also known as “circuit breakers”, already exist in parts of Great Britain. They have to protect the system from overload.

A kind of planning until spring with and without restrictions is conceivable so that the economy can plan. It’s like a truck going down a hill. If you apply the brakes five seconds early, it will be enough for a long time. Maybe you don’t have to brake so long and so hard.

Rapid antigen testing for the workplace

The virologist also advocated rapid testing for infections in groups of people. For example, if an infected person had been in the office before, everyone there should have a quick antigen test, “and we’ll know in 15 minutes whether we have a cluster here or not,” he said.

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“Then we isolate the whole group.” This is faster than the previous PCR test, which you have to wait days for. But it would certainly take some time to make these decisions for such an assignment in Germany, “and I feel like we have less and less time”.

According to a YouGov survey commissioned by the German news agency, nearly two-thirds of citizens expect shops, restaurants and schools to be closed again due to the sharp rise in the number of infections. Chancellor Angela Merkel will talk to the prime ministers of the federal states on Wednesday about measures to contain the corona virus. (dpa)

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