German doctors criticize lack of data on Covid

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Berlin– German doctors have said that the collection and evaluation of data on Covid-19 should be ramped up to better assess the pandemic situation in the country.

“We have seen a real data blindness in the last two and a half years, which has not been a good basis for rational decision making,” Xinhua news agency quoted Klaus Reinhardt, president of the German Medical Association (GMA), as saying to the local media.

Pandemic data must include infection dynamics, disease severity, as well as the burden on the country’s healthcare system, according to Reinhardt.

Germany’s Covid-19 expert council supports the call for a data collection scheme.

It has warned of a worst-case scenario, in which a new virus variant could necessitate the reintroduction of a general face mask mandate and distancing next autumn and winter.

Currently, only the so-called basic protection measures still apply in Germany.

The wearing of face masks is only mandatory on public transport, in airplanes and healthcare institutions (hospitals and care facilities).

Some of the latter might also require additional testing.

Better data on the virus could also prove the efficiency of Covid measures of recent months, Reinhardt said.

“The population will only accept renewed restrictions if they are proven to be necessary and effective.”

The calls come at a time when a fresh Covid-19 wave is looming in Europe driven by the particularly contagious BA.5 Omicron variant.

Portugal has already reported around 1,800 new cases in the past seven days. The respective figure in Germany is currently 277. (IANS)


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