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Coronavirus: what measures will be taken to contain it?

Coronavirus: what measures will be taken to contain it?


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Covid-19: What measures can be expected in the near future?

In the meantime, Covid-19 diseases due to the new Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus have been reported in almost all federal states except Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony-Anhalt and Saarland. The Robert Koch Institute speaks of 188 confirmed cases. Much of the disease is mild - similar to a cold. Nevertheless, the virus is highly contagious and further spread is expected. What restrictions should we be prepared for?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of cases of infection has risen to over 90,000 worldwide. A total of 73 countries now report cases of Covid 19. The number of victims rose to over 3,100. In Germany, too, the number of infections detected with the new corona virus is increasing significantly from day to day. The response to this must be proportionate and appropriate, emphasizes Minister Jens Spahn. The main goal is to slow down the epidemic.

Borders remain open

School closures and the cancellation of certain events - but no borders closed: The measures against the spread of the new corona virus should be proportionate and appropriate, said Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) on Monday in Berlin.

General closings and cancellations are not expected

A general precautionary cancellation of large events, as well as a general closure of companies with individual evidence among employees, is not advisable. "At certain points in Germany, everyday life will have to be restricted a bit," the minister also emphasized.

RKI rates the risk of infection as moderate

By Tuesday afternoon (03.03.2020), 188 Sars CoV-2 infections had been recorded nationwide at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), more than half of them in North Rhine-Westphalia alone. The institute upgraded the risk assessment for the health of the population in Germany from "low to moderate" to "moderate". For the EU, the EU health agency ECDC upgraded the risk from "moderate" to "high", as EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said. The following list shows the number of cases in the individual federal states (as of March 3, 2020, 10:00 a.m.):

  • Baden-Württemberg: 26
  • Bavaria: 35
  • Berlin: 3
  • Brandenburg: 1
  • Bremen: 1
  • Hamburg: 2
  • Hesse: 10
  • Lower Saxony: 1
  • North Rhine-Westphalia: 101
  • Rhineland-Palatinate: 2
  • Saxony: 1
  • Schleswig Holstein: 2nd
  • Thuringia: 1

The situation has to be reassessed every day

In several countries worldwide, the Covid-19 numbers are increasing rapidly, over 90,000 infections with the coronavirus Sars-CoV-2 and more than 3,100 deaths have now been recorded. Evidence was reported in several previously unaffected metropolises, including Berlin, Moscow, Delhi and New York, in about a day. In Germany, infections have now been detected in almost all federal states. The situation is very dynamic and has to be reassessed every day, said RKI President Lothar Wieler.

Freedom of travel is not expected to be restricted

Closing borders or restricting freedom of travel in Europe would not be an appropriate or proportionate step, Spahn said. He also opposed the termination of direct flights, for example between China and Germany. For major events, it should be considered, among other things, whether participants from high-risk areas are expected. There should also be a tiered risk assessment for companies.

Delay strategy

In the coming weeks, the spread of the new corona virus will primarily be a delay in the epidemic. The better it is possible to keep the infection rate low, the less pressure there will be on the medical system and society, said virologist Christian Drosten.

Covid-19 is a relatively mild condition

Measures such as school closings and event cancellations are not primarily about risk for the individual, he emphasized. Covid-19 is a mild disease, basically a type of cold that usually got over quickly or was barely felt by some. With the measures, however, the spread can be curbed - and it makes a huge difference whether a wave of spread spreads to a large part of a population within a few weeks or over two years.

An infected person infects three other people on average

According to current data, the Covid 19 death rate is 0.3 to 0.7 percent, Drosten said. This means that three to seven people die from 1,000 infected people. The actual rate is probably even lower, explained the renowned virologist from the Berlin Charité. It is currently the most difficult to estimate the speed at which the virus spreads.

There are indications that an infected person infects three other people on average - but this value is fraught with great uncertainty. An epidemic is stopped when, on average, an infected person infects fewer than one other person.

A significant increase is expected in Germany

Initially, however, a significant increase in the number of cases and newly discovered infection chains can also be assumed in Germany. In Berlin, for example, a contagion was recorded for the first time - and only by chance: the infection in a 22-year-old was noticed because the Charité combines influenza and corona virus tests. The man had been brought to the emergency room on Sunday with neurological symptoms. He is now treated in isolation at the Charité Virchow Clinic.

It was initially unclear how the man who had been suffering from cold symptoms for around two weeks became infected with Sars-CoV-2. "There is a quiet trace to North Rhine-Westphalia," said Charité board member Ulrich Frei. The man's parents live there and had visited him.

NRW particularly affected

North Rhine-Westphalia is currently the most severely affected state with more than 101 records. As of Monday afternoon, 78 infections were known in the Heinsberg district alone, a spokesman for the district said. There is still no all-clear for the seriously ill 47-year-old, who has been treated in the Düsseldorf university clinic for days, it said. The man and his wife, who was one year younger, celebrated a carnival at a meeting in Gangelt on February 15. Numerous people are said to have been infected at the celebration.

85 percent of those infected show only mild symptoms

The Sars-CoV-2 virus can cause Covid-19 disease. Most infected people have only mild cold symptoms with chills and sore throats that disappear within a few days, or no symptoms at all. About 15 out of 100 infected people fall seriously ill, according to the RKI. You get breathing problems or pneumonia. Older people or those with previous illnesses are particularly affected. There are isolated deaths.

Cure Covid-19 at home

Most infected people can cure their infection in home quarantine. Special medication is not necessary for healing. In the event of severe complaints, prompt medical attention should be given. For more information, see the article: Treating Covid-19 with home remedies at home.

School closings and quarantine relieve the health system

Authorities in many countries are currently taking measures such as school closures and quarantine for suspected cases. For some people, this gives the impression that Covid-19 must be a particularly dangerous disease. However, the background of such measures is different: An unchecked wave of infections could mean, among other things, full waiting areas and doctor's offices, occupied intensive care beds and overloaded health offices. Therefore, the goal is to extend the spread over as long a period as possible. Because in about a year there could be a protective vaccination against the new pathogen.

The incubation period - i.e. the period between infection and the onset of symptoms - is usually two to 14 days according to the current status. This is the reason why suspected cases are currently usually isolated for around two weeks.

Italy is most affected in Europe

In Europe, Italy is the country most affected by the Covid 19 epidemic. It is also one of the countries most affected by the epidemic in the world, according to official statistics. The WHO currently reports over 2,000 confirmed infections and 52 deaths (as of March 3, 2020). In many other countries, however, health professionals assume that there are a large number of unreported cases.

Impact on the global economy

The economic consequences of the epidemic are becoming increasingly noticeable. The industrialized nations organization OECD expects the global economy to grow by only 2.4 percent this year. That is half a percentage point less than last predicted. In the previous year, the global economy had grown by 2.9 percent. (vb; source: Annett Stein, dpa)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek

Swell:

  • WHO: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation (access: 03.03.2020), experience.arcgis.com
  • Robert Koch Institute (RKI): SARS-CoV-2: Case numbers in Germany, China and worldwide, rki.de


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