New corona variant BA.5 is spreading

After waves in other countries, it is to be expected that the variant will soon become dominant in Germany, says Bavaria’s Health Minister Holetschek. He criticizes the federal government’s corona policy.

Bavaria’s Health Minister Klaus Holetschek warns of the increasing number of infections caused by the new omicron subvariant BA.5. After waves in other countries, it is to be expected that BA.5 will soon become dominant in Germany, said the CSU politician on Saturday in Munich. “The infection pressure could increase again.” However, he sees no reason to tighten the corona regulations. BA.5 does not appear to cause more severe disease than previous types of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Nevertheless, this is no reason to be careless. In autumn, new virus variants are to be expected, which could be more contagious and possibly also more dangerous. In this context, he criticized the federal government’s corona policy. These have not yet adapted the Infection Protection Act to possible developments. “The Berlin traffic lights, which were at odds over the Corona issue, are now in danger of missing the train to make the necessary changes in time for the summer break of the Bundestag,” explained Holetschek. The federal government must enable the states to react “quickly and appropriately” to new waves of infection.

According to figures from the Robert Koch Institute on Saturday morning, the nationwide corona incidence has risen to 348.9. This continues the upward trend. The day before, the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants per week was 318.7. However, the development of the past few weeks may be partially distorted by public holidays. Experts have also been assuming for some time that there will be a large number of cases not recorded by the RKI – mainly because not all infected people take a PCR test. Only positive PCR tests count in the statistics. In addition, late registrations or transmission problems can lead to a distortion of individual daily values.

In Beijing, 4,400 people have to be quarantined, and Shanghai is testing extensively

Despite strict quarantine measures, new corona infections have also occurred in China. In the capital, Beijing, there was an outbreak with 61 infected people, which apparently can be traced back to a bar in the Chaoyang district. Many foreign companies and embassies are based in the district. More than 4,400 people who had had close contact with infected people were admitted to quarantine facilities by the authorities. Sixteen new cases were recorded in Shanghai on Friday, six of which occurred outside of quarantine areas. Authorities put much of the city into a brief lockdown this weekend to conduct large-scale testing.

Meanwhile, other countries continue to relax their protective measures against the virus. Travelers from abroad to the United States will no longer have to present a negative coronavirus test before their flight, starting Sunday. This was announced by the health authority CDC on Friday in Washington.

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