Janosch Dahmen: Green expert warns against abandoning the mask obligation

dThe health policy spokesman of the Greens, Janosch Dahmen, warned against a general abolition of the mask obligation. On Friday morning on RTL and ntv channels, Dahmen referred to the current enormous stress situation in hospitals, not only due to Corona, but also due to other respiratory diseases. Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) has criticized various regulations in the federal states.

Dahmen specifically criticized Saxony-Anhalt’s decision, which took effect on Thursday, to abolish the obligation to wear face masks in local public transport. “I don’t think that’s a good idea,” he said to her. “At the moment we are not in a situation where we can talk about relaxation when we look at the health system.”

“Masks continue to be a very important tool to keep chains of infection short, eliminate the dynamics of infection and are also very effective for all these different respiratory diseases,” the Green politician underlined. “We should definitely stick to masks indoors, especially for the upcoming winter season,” he continued.

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Lauterbach also criticized the federal states which abolished the obligation to wear masks in local public transport and the isolation obligation. In addition to Saxony-Anhalt, Bavaria has also decided to end the mask obligation in public transport, which will come into effect this Saturday. In some other Länder the decision is still pending.

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“It confuses the citizens,” Lauterbach told RTL and ntv of the resulting patchwork. He wouldn’t find it impressive if states no longer enforced laws that had a say in the federal government.

“I don’t see any need to lift or ease the lockdown now that hospitals are full,” Lauterbach said, especially in view of full pediatric wards. “You should be a little respectful of each other,” the health minister asked.

Lauterbach rejects easing

However, Lauterbach is confident about the development of the pandemic in the coming months: “Hopefully, next winter will be the last big battle with the corona virus,” said the politician “Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazine”. The virus had “mutated at a dead end,” the minister said. However, Lauterbach remains faithful to his prudent line, he does not want to give the green light: “There is no reason for carelessness. It is too early for further easing.”

Lauterbach acknowledged in the interview that the pandemic played a role in his rise to ministerial office. “Corona helped me get this office, you have to say.”

His private life suffered under the office. “I have the highest level of security, I’m with a lot of security officers on the weekends,” Lauterbach said. “Sometimes when my daughter or friends are with me, I have to ask the security to give us some privacy.”

That’s also why she’s making an effort not to let private things get into the public eye: “I definitely have to be even more careful not to endanger the people who are close to me.”

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Andrea Ulmann

Health expert FDP Ullmann

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) is confident about the development of the pandemic in the coming months. “It’s a much more relaxed situation than it was before,” Scholz said after the federal state conference Thursday evening in Berlin. The corona pandemic is still there. There are also big problems with other respiratory diseases.

Unlike in previous years, there is now a “very extensively vaccinated population” in Germany, the chancellor said. Therefore, the country could face this winter “very well”. This time, the top group of federal and state governments has not made any concrete decisions on pandemic policy.

The prime ministers of Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia, Stephan Weil (SPD) and Hendrik Wüst (CDU), do not see it as a problem that the states are abolishing the latest measures against Corona at different speeds. “It’s a topic we’ve known about since the beginning of the pandemic,” Weil, as chairman of the Conference of Prime Ministers, said on Thursday ahead of state leaders’ consultations with Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) in Berlin. It doesn’t look good for all countries. “But it’s also nothing that, from a national perspective, would have prevented us from dealing well with the pandemic in general.”

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Tim Röhn (right) comments on the turnaround of Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD)

CDU politician Wüst said that there are always different corona situations in the countries. Each country has to decide for itself which measures are proportionate. “The allegation of a patchwork quilt is raised quickly, but one always has to look at the situation,” said Wüst.

With Bavaria and Saxony-Anhalt, the first federal states agreed to abolish the obligation to wear a respiratory mask in local public transport. The cabinets of both countries justified their decisions with a stable infection situation. While the CDU and FDP welcomed the decision and called for further steps, Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) criticized the advance.

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US immunologist Anthony Fauci, charity virologist Christian Drosten (r.)

The Conference of Ministers of Health (GMK) failed to agree on a common line on mandatory face masks in public transport on Monday. In Saxony-Anhalt, the mask obligation dropped on Thursday, Bavaria will follow on Saturday. According to Weil, Corona will not be one of the big topics of the country leaders’ meeting with Scholz.

Meanwhile, the trend in the number of corona infections continues to grow. As announced on Friday morning by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the so-called seven-day incidence of new infections per 100,000 population nationwide was 219.9 again higher than the previous day’s value. In addition, 167 new deaths from corona-infected people were recorded in one day.

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