Germany ‘can switch off coronavirus panic mode,’ says medical chief

Germany 'can switch off coronavirus panic mode,' says medical chief
A sign urging people to wear face masks at a fairground in Schleswig-Holstein. Photo: DPA
The head of Germany's main doctors association believes more coronavirus measures can be relaxed and the country can stop panicking so much about the virus – but should remain cautious.

“You can switch off panic mode,” Andreas Gassen, head of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV) told Business Insider on Friday.

There are currently no coronavirus hotspots with exploding infection rates, while the number of intensive care patients and deaths are at a low level, he pointed out. “The figures give reason to reconsider corona measures without becoming careless,” said Gassen.

He referred to events as an example of where measures could be eased. “It doesn't make sense to me why a stadium for up to 60,000 people cannot accommodate events with 5,000 to 8,000 people, as was successfully practiced at the Waldbühne in Berlin at the end of August.

“The only crucial thing here to watch is avoiding bottlenecks with close contact so that the risk of infection is minimised.”

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The danger of a second wave can't be seriously assessed at the moment, said Gassen. “I don't know whether there will be a real second wave or rather several smaller waves,” he said.

The health authorities in Germany reported 1,484 new coronavirus infections within 24 hours on Friday.

Since the beginning of the crisis, at least 256,850 people in Germany have contracted Covid-19, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) said.

The number of deaths is 9,342. By Thursday morning, about 230,600 people had survived the infection according to RKI estimates.

And, for the first time since June, the number of weekly coronavirus tests recorded by the RKI has decreased. In the week from August 31st to September 6th, one million tests were carried out – about 50,000 fewer than in the previous week.


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