Der SpiegelDer Spiegel

COVID: A Chief Physician on the Perils of Germany’s Omicron Strategy

By Veronika Hackenbroch, Rafaela von Bredow,

9 min read

DER SPIEGEL: Dr. Schroeder, the Omicron wave is growing, local public health authorities seem to have capitulated in the face of it, testing laboratories are overwhelmed and the actual current case numbers can only be estimated. Have we lost control of the pandemic in Germany?

Schroeder: We are potentially far past a tipping point. We now have a positivity rate of over 30 percent on PCR tests, which means that almost one-third of all suspected cases are actual infections. A pandemic is under control when that figure is under 5 percent. Because of the lack of PCR tests, the actual data is getting hazy. Contact tracing has also collapsed. And the World Health Organization is expecting that half of the European population will get infected in the next eight weeks – presumably here in Germany, as well.

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