German health minister urges states to face growing Covid wave

Karl Lauterbach, German Minister of Health, arrives at the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellor's Office. Photo: Kay Nietfeld/dpa

German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has called on the country’s 16 states to return to reintroduce an obligation to wear masks indoors to combat a growing wave of coronavirus infections.

Speaking to broadcaster ZDF, Lauterbach advised Germany’s 16 state governments – which are broadly responsible for health policy – to use the provisions in the law to reintroduce stricter anti-coronavirus measures.

“If the states could agree now when the optimal time to do this was, that would of course be great,” said Lauterbach, who is himself a medical doctor.

“The wave that is rising now will not end on its own. One has to react,” he said.

The national disease control body, the Robert Koch Institute, put the national seven-day incidence rate of infection at 793.8 on Thursday.

This only records people who have taken an official PCR test, however – which many people no longer do.

Lauterbach’s comments follow similar remarks by the head of the Marburger Bund doctor’s association overnight.

“States must respond everywhere where case numbers are going through the roof, with an obligation to wear FFP2 masks in public transport and in public indoor spaces,” Susanne Johna told the newspapers of the Funke media group.



Courtesy © dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH