Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has reiterated his call for further contact restrictions before new federal-state consultations on the corona pandemic.

He thinks this is necessary in view of the Omikron wave, said the SPD politician on Wednesday evening in the ZDF “heute journal”.

You have to proceed with a sense of proportion.

Lauterbach also emphasized: "We will probably have to improve again."

Adjusted quarantine rules and a continuation of the booster campaign are also required.

The booster vaccinations are the best protection against the Omikron variant.

Lauterbach called for the high vaccination rate to be resumed as before Christmas.

More than 60,000 new infections

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported a significant increase in the official nationwide seven-day incidence.

The RKI stated the value of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants and week on this Thursday morning as 285.9.

It has been increasing from day to day since the end of December, although the RKI continues to assume that new infections will be under-recorded due to fewer tests and reports in the course of the holidays and vacations.

For comparison: the previous day the value was 258.6, a week ago it was 207.4, a month ago it was 441.9.

The health authorities in Germany reported 64,340 new corona infections to the RKI within one day.

Exactly one week ago there were 42,770 infections.

The previous record was 65,371 new infections on November 18.

More deaths

According to the new information, 443 deaths were recorded across Germany within 24 hours.

The number of people who died with or with a proven infection with the Sars-CoV-2 virus rose to 113,368.

A week ago there were 383 deaths.

The RKI has counted 7,361,660 detected infections with Sars-CoV-2 since the beginning of the pandemic.

The actual total number is likely to be significantly higher, as many infections are not recognized.

The RKI stated the number of those who had recovered at 6,626,500.

Lauterbach for masks in schools

In the interview, Minister Lauterbach spoke out in favor of wearing protective masks for schools.

These would work very well against the Omikron variant.

Lauterbach appealed to the federal states to make the wearing of masks a requirement.

FFP2 masks would be recommended here.

Unfortunately, there are no suitable masks for many children, especially smaller ones.

Lauterbach also defended the amended quarantine rules proposed by the Conference of Health Ministers with shorter time outs for staff in important supply areas linked to PCR tests.

This would keep these areas viable.

Sufficient PCR tests are available for this.

Up to 2.3 million PCR tests could be performed per week.