The federal government and leading virologists are cautiously optimistic, but with acute concern for millions of unvaccinated people on the growing wave of omicons in Germany. Studies have shown that Omikron spreads much faster, but also causes slightly less severe cases, said Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) of the newspaper Bild am Sonntag. "But that is not the all-clear for older people who have not been vaccinated." Almost 13 percent of the more than 24 million people aged 60 and over are not vaccinated against Corona. In total, more than 20 million people in Germany are not vaccinated.

The corona incidence rose for the fourth day in a row on Sunday.

The value was 222.7 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants and week.

According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), many cases were probably not recorded on the holidays.

It is therefore currently unclear how high the Omikron wave is in Germany.

Its climax is still to be expected.

12,515 new infections were reported within one day.

Lauterbach is, in his own words, "very, very worried" about the unvaccinated.

He again appealed to people to get vaccinated against corona.

“Many unvaccinated people have the feeling that the train has left for them anyway.

That's not true. ”The first vaccination drastically reduces the risk of death after just 14 days.

"By increasing the number of first vaccinations, we can effectively reduce the number of corona deaths in the Omikron wave," he said.

The minister also called for masks to be worn. "The viral load of the infected is lower with Omikron, so masks work better," he said. Wearing masks consistently in schools is “an absolute must for all classes”. The German Child Protection Association sees strict insistence on face-to-face teaching in schools as critical. "It cannot be a solution to insist on classroom teaching under all circumstances," said President Heinz Hilgers of the Rheinische Post newspaper.

Because of the feared explosive spread of Omikron, experts continue to fear that the hospitals will be overloaded, although the new variant makes people sick less often. According to the Berlin virologist Christian Drosten, an unvaccinated person with an Omikron infection carries three quarters of the risk of an unvaccinated person with the delta variant of Corona being admitted to a hospital. For those who have not been vaccinated, especially those over 60, it is now "really dangerous", according to Drosten.

25.8 percent of the total population in Germany have not yet been vaccinated.

That is more than every fourth citizen, i.e. around 21.5 million people.

Among them are around four million children up to the age of four who cannot yet be vaccinated.

At least 71.2 percent of the total population have the immune protection of usually two vaccinations.

At least 38.7 percent also received a booster vaccination.

Shorter quarantine only when the police and fire brigade are overloaded?

Against the background of concerns about a sudden loss of staff in clinics and other supply areas, the President of the German District Association spoke out in favor of a shorter corona quarantine. "A shortening of the quarantine can prove to be useful," said District Administrator Reinhard Sager to the newspapers of the Funke media group. At the moment, according to Berlin's Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD), such a step is not yet necessary. "Right now we don't need that because our critical infrastructure has not yet been put out of action," said Giffey on Deutschlandfunk. Only when it is foreseeable that the police, fire brigade and other institutions are no longer able to work, such a measure must be decided.

If possible, it should be possible to use the drug Paxlovid, a new drug for the treatment of severe Covid-19 courses in Germany, in January.

It comes from the American pharmaceutical company Pfizer.

"I am confident that we will have put together the necessary package by the end of this month, so that we have received deliveries of the drug and obtained emergency approval," Lauterbach told the newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

The Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices is preparing national approval.

Almost a week ago, Lauterbach announced the order for one million packs of Paxlovid and announced emergency approval.