The Leopoldina National Academy of Sciences calls for much deeper measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic. (Image: Michael Stifter / Stock.Adobe.com)
Leopoldina: Resolved measures are insufficient
A more uniform approach by federal states to corona measurements and better control of the number of infections were the goals of the federal / state group meeting in Berlin on Wednesday. However, from the point of view of the Leopoldina National Academy of Sciences, the decisions taken and the regulations drawn up on the coronavirus pandemic are “not sufficient to control and contain the process of infection”.
For days, the number of new infections with the SARS-COV-2 coronavirus has been increasing by leaps and bounds in almost all parts of Germany and in many neighboring European countries, the infection rate already seems to be out of control, warns Leopoldina . Also in Germany, many infection chains in hotspots can no longer be traced. The measures now decided by the federal / state cycle are not sufficient here to bring the infection process under control.
Increased number of expected infections
A multitude of factors contribute to the fact that the number of infections will likely continue to increase in the weeks to come. La Leopoldina cites as examples the drop in temperatures, the relocation of group activities indoors, the autumn and Christmas holidays and the increase in social activities during the Advent and Christmas season.
In addition, with the onset of the cold and flu season, the health system will be more stressed anyway and face the problem of distinguishing between SARS-CoV-2 infections and symptomatic-type illnesses.
Mandatory and uniform protective measures
“In the days and weeks to come, containment of the pandemic can only be successful if the federal states accept and apply mandatory and uniform protective measures. They must be mandatory from 35 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the last seven days and not just be formulated as a recommendation ”, underlines the president of Leopoldina, Gerald Haug.
Measures recommended by the Leopoldina
La Leopoldina cites the four most important measures in its current statement:
Systematically respect the protective measures: AHA rule (keep your distance, hygiene, daily mask / protection of the mouth and nose) and regular renewal of the air in the rooms as effective, simple and inexpensive measures. Rapid and targeted tests, shorter quarantine and isolation times: targeted tests according to the respective risk of infection; Definition of testing strategies that prioritize particularly vulnerable groups; Digitization measures that shorten the time between testing and reporting results; Provision of decentralized test procedures; Shorten the isolation time after symptom onset to about a week, reduce the quarantine time for people at high risk of infection from 14-10 days. Facilitate responsible behavior: easily accessible information and clear rules; perceive young adults more strongly than before in their special needs. Mitigate the social and psychological consequences: strengthen the offers of help, in particular the increase in psychotherapeutic or psychiatric offers and advice in terms of prevention and therapy; preventive physical exercise.
High risk of infection in these situations
Numerous close contact in closed rooms, little fresh air, a dense crowd indoors or outdoors, and talking in a busy or noisy environment are known to be high risk situations for infection. Properly worn masks over the mouth and nose, regular ventilation, avoiding crowds, and speaking loudly are appropriate protective measures. According to Leopoldina, these must therefore apply in all public spaces, including workplaces and educational establishments.
Rapid and decisive action is required
“If politicians do not act proactively in the face of the foreseeable exponential increase in the number of infections, public life and the economy will be more restricted than would have been necessary”, summed up the experts of Leopoldina in their current statement. In addition, educational opportunities for children and adolescents would be compromised, the health system would be overburdened and individual freedoms would be further restricted. (fp)
Author and source information
This text complies with the requirements of specialized medical literature, medical directives and ongoing studies and has been verified by healthcare professionals.
Dipl. Geogr. Fabian Peters
Leopoldina National Academy of Sciences: Coronavirus pandemic: Leopoldina calls for more consistent action (published October 15, 2020), leopoldina.org
This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. It cannot replace a visit to the doctor.