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Tech & Science Corona pandemic: infection tracking is still working reliably

12:25  29 may  2020
12:25  29 may  2020 Source:   fitforfun.de

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  Corona-Pandemie: Infektions-Nachverfolgung klappt derzeit noch zuverlässig © iStockphoto The relaxation of the corona restrictions could increase the number of people with whom a sick person came into contact - and that would also follow the infection chains make it significantly more difficult.

In order to get the Corona crisis under control, health authorities must be able to identify all those infected. It is currently working well. But what if the number of infections increases again?

According to the health authorities, the tracking of corona infections is currently manageable. "At the moment the situation is comparatively relaxed," said Markus Mempel from the German District Council.

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The Federal Association of Doctors of the Public Health Service (BVÖGD) also currently certifies that the authorities have good management in the persecution of contact persons.

"The health authorities are reliable and timely and take the necessary measures to prevent the spread of the disease," said Ute Teichert, chairman of the association.

Clear goal: to understand the chain of infection

In order to be able to control the corona crisis, health authorities must be able to understand where someone has been infected. This is the only way that all people who may have been infected with Sars-CoV-2 can get into Quarantine and contain the spread of the virus.

"It must be our goal to be able to track every chain of infection," said Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) in April.

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The German District Council has no data on how many cases the health authorities determine or cannot determine contact persons.

The number of infections is currently falling . According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), around 300 to 600 new corona cases per day have been reported in the past few days.

For comparison: On some days at the beginning of April there were around 6,000 newly infected people a day. There are currently around 16,500 active cases.

Follow-up could be difficult on the second wave

Due to the relaxation of the corona restrictions , the number of people with whom a sick person has come into contact could now increase again, according to Teichert.

Mempel also said: "We are preparing for the fact that the number of infections will increase significantly in some areas or, if necessary, in the area during a second wave. Then the follow-up will again be a great challenge."

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It was important to him that the health authorities would then get staff within a few days - for example, from employees of the district administrations who are on standby. The BVÖGD certifies that the health authorities are short of staff - even before the corona pandemic.

Teichert warned: "If the number of infections rises again across the board, the health authorities with the current staffing levels will not be able to consistently track the contact persons."

The authorities have been at the load limit for weeks

The authorities have been at the load limit for weeks. "The help from other areas has helped, but cannot really compensate for the insufficient number of professionally trained specialist staff." In April, the

federal and state governments agreed to create additional personnel capacities for public health services, at least one team of five people per 20,000 inhabitants. According to

Teichert, the health authorities would need more specialists in public health and more specialists in infection protection. It calls for an economic stimulus program for the public health service.

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Even in times of low infection numbers, your association still sees room for improvement in follow-up. "In urban centers in particular, we see infections without clarifying the origin."

Corona app could relieve health authorities

A large role in the spread of the virus play Teichert and Mempel, according to people who have been infected with the virus without realizing it. In the opinion of the BVÖGD association chairmen, this leads to transmissions, especially in congested urban areas.

"This is why a tracing app is also important in order to break through infection chains early in the early stages or if the course is asymptomatic," emphasized Mempel.

A Corona warning app planned by the federal government is supposed to anonymously record which smartphones have come close to each other - and to warn users if they are next to infected people. According to Mempel, the number of infections can be kept under control even during times of corona loosening using the app.

The German District Council also sees the program as supporting the authorities. "The app should also make work easier in the health authorities".

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