Germany is preparing for the fifth wave of the Omicron epidemic

– The number of people hospitalized with severe symptoms of Covid-19 has already decreased in the days leading up to Christmas – according to Dr. Jehan Celik of the Darmstadt clinic. “Patients in the current fourth wave are usually younger, so they can generally be discharged from regular wards faster,” he added.

However, all the beds in the intensive care unit are still occupied in this clinic. There is an opposite effect of shortening the lifespan of patients. Younger patients stay longer because their bodies struggle with the virus for longer. However, the positive effects of vaccinations are clearly visible, Selleck says. He adds that despite Hessen’s record number of hospitalizations, it’s still half the level it was a year ago at the height of the second wave.

For several days, a decrease in the weekly infection rate was observed in Germany, reaching the level of 280 cases per 100,000 cases before Christmas. population. A month ago, the infection rate was around 500. The number of coronavirus patients treated in intensive care units is also declining across the country. “FAZ” reported that during the Christmas period, there were a total of 4,201 patients, about 700 fewer patients than at the beginning of December.

Omricon Expansion

Although most infections are still caused by the delta variant of the coronavirus, the number of Omikron discoveries has increased dramatically in recent weeks, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). Omikron has already been discovered in all German states.

“We know what to expect with Omicron,” Dr. Selleck says. – The fifth wave cannot be avoided, it will be Omicron’s responsibility mainly – he adds. However, the doctor hopes that the measures taken by the federal government and federal state authorities will delay Friday’s wave as long as possible. “The worst time for an Omicron wave will be right after the current downtrend, when the intensive care units are still full,” Selleck said.

The doctor emphasizes that he does not rely on the fact that Omikron infection will have milder symptoms in patients. According to Selleck, this strain of coronavirus also spreads rapidly between vaccinated people and those who have contracted Covid-19.

– People who have been vaccinated, especially with the third dose, are well protected from the acute course of infection – the doctor confirms. He adds that when morbidity increases sharply in the population, many people will need to be readmitted to hospitals, even if hospitalization rates remain lower.

Troubled start to the year

The German Hospital Association assumes that 2022 will begin with discomfort in many clinics.

– On the other hand, employees are very tired after nearly two years. On the other hand, there are still many Covid-19 patients in intensive care. In addition, we must bear in mind that Omikron will also cause more illness among employees, despite very high vaccination rates and booster doses, says Gerald Gass, president of the association. She expects the federal government to implement a mandatory public vaccination against the coronavirus soon.

Hope d. I would like that the next fifth wave be the last, and not be followed by more aggressive mutations in the pathogen. For him, it is important to close the vaccination gaps in the population as quickly as possible. – Because not only the patience of the majority of the vaccinated population, but also the immunity of the medical staff reaches its limits – the doctor confirms.

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