End of isolation possible after five days

DThe nationwide seven-day incidence of the coronavirus has continued to fall. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) gave the value of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants per week on Tuesday morning as 632.2. The previous day 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 reporting data depends on the testing behavior of the population. The RKI therefore regularly analyzes other parameters. In their weekly report published on Thursday, the experts assumed, among other things, that the key figures for hospital admissions had continued to decrease.

The health authorities in Germany recently reported 113,522 new corona infections to the RKI within one day. That is 23,276 fewer cases than on Tuesday last week. The values ​​fluctuate significantly between the individual days of the week, as more and more federal states do not transmit to the RKI, especially at the weekend.

According to the new information, 240 deaths were recorded across Germany within 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 reported to the RKI at the weekend. The total number of recorded corona deaths in Germany is now 135,701.

Only five days of isolation for infected people

In the future, 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 Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach confirmed that the isolation should continue to be ordered by the health authorities. Contact persons of infected people should be strongly recommended in the future to reduce contacts for five days. So far, the secretions have usually lasted ten days and can be ended prematurely with a negative test after seven days.

The federal states 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”. On the basis of the shorter course of the disease in the current Omicron variant BA.2, the isolation can be reduced to five days.

According to the recommendation, contact persons of infected people, 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. In addition, there should be an urgent recommendation for daily antigen rapid tests.

In view of the number of new infections that has been high for weeks, the health authorities in some places can no longer keep up with orders – and official letters sometimes come with a longer delay.

Free testing strongly recommended

According to the new recommendation, infected people with a demonstrably positive test should be urgently recommended to repeatedly test themselves with rapid tests starting on the fifth day – until the test is negative. If you cannot test negative on the fifth day, the ordered isolation will continue beyond the fifth day, explained Lauterbach.

For employees in health care and nursing, the final free test should be mandatory and not just recommended. According to the recommendation, the prerequisite for resuming work is that you have been symptom-free for 48 hours beforehand – and a negative quick test from the test center or a PCR test done on day five at the earliest.

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