According to virologist Christian Drosten, the corona pandemic is over in Germany due to the broad immunity in the population. "We are experiencing the first endemic wave of Sars-CoV-2 this winter, and in my opinion the pandemic is over," said the head of virology at the Charité University Hospital in Berlin.
After almost three years of the pandemic, several federal states are heading towards a new normal in dealing with the virus - away from everyday requirements and recommendations for behavior.
The term endemic, which is often used somewhat imprecisely, describes a state in which the waves of infection flatten out and the effects of the infection process are therefore less serious for a large part of the population. The basis is a broadly existing immunity through vaccinations and/or surviving infections, which ensures fewer infections and milder courses. The immune system is no longer confronted with a new type of pathogen, it reacts faster and better to an infection.
Also mutation jump not expected
The immunity against Sars-CoV-2 will be so broad and resilient after the winter that the virus can hardly get through in the summer, said Drosten. In his opinion, things could be different if the pathogen made another leap in mutation. "But I don't expect that anymore at the moment."
The intensive care physician Christian Karagiannidis, who is a member of the Federal Government’s Corona Expert Council, was similarly optimistic. In an interview with the editorial network Germany (RND/Online Montag), he answered in the affirmative when asked whether the pandemic would be over after the winter. "I expect the pandemic to be tapering off now," added Karagiannidis. Certainly there will still be one or the other small wave. However, the immunity situation of the population is solid and there are significantly fewer Covid patients in the intensive care units.
Many experts now agree that the pandemic is over. The chairman of the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko), Thomas Mertens, had already said at the end of October that he now considered Sars-CoV-2 to be an endemic virus. He pointed out that the question of pandemic versus endemic is probably more of psychological than scientific importance. Because it must be clear: endemic does not mean that the virus will disappear. It will occur permanently with a relatively constant number of cases.
Buschmann calls for the end of all corona protection measures
According to Drosten's statements, Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann is calling for all protective measures to be phased out.
Left parliamentary group leader Dietmar Bartsch shared a report on the interview with Drosten on Twitter and captioned it with "Christmas message from
Different corona measures in the countries
The federal states draw different conclusions from the new situation, as a survey by the German Press Agency shows. They handle the corona measures, which are their sovereignty, completely differently. The mask requirement in local transport in Bavaria and Saxony-Anhalt has already been abolished, and in Schleswig-Holstein it will expire at the end of the year. Bavaria, Hesse, Baden-Württemberg, Schleswig-Holstein and Rhineland-Palatinate have said goodbye to the obligation to isolate if the test is positive - and instead rely on a stricter mask requirement for infected people.
Others are more cautious. For Lower Saxony's Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD) the following applies: get through the winter well. The state government in Schwerin would like to end the obligation to isolate and wear a mask in local transport after winter at the earliest. Saxony's Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) wants to make a new decision in January on how to proceed - but is already emphasizing that personal responsibility when wearing a mask in local transport is important to him.