DThe national seven-day incidence of the coronavirus has continued to decline. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) gave the value of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants per week on Tuesday morning at 632.2. The day before it was 639.5, a month ago it was 1457.9.
However, the incidence does not provide a complete picture of the development of the infection, also because the official notification data depends on the testing behavior of the population. The RKI therefore regularly analyzes other parameters. In their weekly report released on Thursday, the experts assumed, among other things, that key figures for hospital admissions had continued to decline.
German health authorities recently reported 113,522 new corona infections at RKI in one day. That’s 23,276 fewer cases than Tuesday last week. The values fluctuate considerably between different days of the week, as more and more federal states do not transmit to the RKI, especially on weekends.
According to the new information, 240 deaths were recorded across Germany in 24 hours. A week ago, there were 304 deaths. This number also fluctuates a lot from day to day, since only a few data are transmitted to the RKI on weekends. The total number of registered corona deaths in Germany is now 135,701.
Only five days of isolation for those infected
Going forward, the prescribed isolation for infected people can usually end after five days – with a “strongly recommended” negative test at the end. This is provided for by new guidelines that the RKI published on Monday evening.
Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach confirmed that isolation should continue to be ordered by the health authorities. Contact persons of infected persons in the future should be strongly recommended to reduce contacts for five days. So far secretions have usually lasted ten days and can be terminated prematurely with a negative test after seven days.
The Länder determine the specific regulations according to the recommendation. Lauterbach made it clear that most should implement this line. Several countries have already announced new regulations. Overall, the Minister spoke of a “solution with a sense of proportion”. Based on the shorter disease course in the current BA.2 variant of Omicron, isolation can be reduced to five days.
According to the recommendation, contact persons of infected persons, for example in the household or in schools, should only be urgently recommended to independently reduce contacts – especially with risk groups for a severe corona course. Additionally, there should be an urgent recommendation for daily rapid antigen tests.
Given the high number of new infections for weeks, health authorities in some places can no longer keep up with orders – and official letters sometimes arrive with more delay.
Free tests highly recommended
According to the new recommendation, infected people with a clearly positive test should be urgently asked to test themselves repeatedly with rapid tests from the fifth day – until the test is negative. If you cannot test negative on day five, ordered isolation will continue beyond day five, Lauterbach said.
For healthcare and nursing employees, the final free test should be mandatory, not just recommended. According to the recommendation, the prerequisite for returning to work is that you have had no symptoms for 48 hours in advance – and a negative rapid test from the test center or a PCR test taken on the fifth day at the earliest.