Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach has been positive for the coronavirus since yesterday, Thursday, evening and shows only mild symptoms, according to a statement from his ministry.
“The minister is fine, with only mild symptoms. He is temporarily self-isolating and continues to work from home (…) Mr. Lauterbach has been vaccinated four times, which shows that with the highly contagious Omicron variant he cannot to completely rule out contamination, even with extreme caution,” the statement said. Therefore, the 59-year-old minister and professor of Epidemiology appeals again to everyone “to behave prudently and ensure adequate vaccination protection to prevent infection and serious illness as much as possible”.
The day before yesterday, Mr Lauterbach and Justice Minister Marco Bussmann presented a new framework for dealing with the pandemic in the autumn, with the use of FFP-2 type masks at the center – mandatory for public transport, visits to hospitals, nursing homes and doctor’s offices and following a decision by local governments for retail, restaurants and cultural venues. Exemptions from the obligation to use are provided for those who have a negative test on the same day, have been vaccinated or recovered within the last quarter. Especially the last report has caused reactions both from the scientific community and from the local authorities.
“Some will ask whether they should be vaccinated every three months from now on and whether the vaccine loses its value after that. This is exactly the wrong message,” said the president of the Association of General Practitioners Ulrich Weigelt and called for the promotion of additional vaccination of only people belonging to vulnerable groups. The Standing Committee on Vaccinations currently recommends the fourth vaccination only for the vulnerable and people over 70 years of age. On the self-government side, the director general of the Union of Municipalities and Communities Gerd Landsberg said that checking certificates especially at events with a lot of people will be very difficult, while he asked for the financial support of the federal government for the operation of vaccination and control centers.