Berlin-based virologist Christian Drosten sees reason for cautious optimism about the further development of the coronavirus pandemic in Germany. The background is data from South Africa, where the particularly infectious virus type Omikron first spread: “In a certain way it can calm us down. South Africa is definitely a glimpse into the future, to an endemic state just emerging there,” Drosten said Thursday morning in ZDF– “today’s newspaper”.
“Unfortunately we are still far from that.” Going from pandemic to endemic means that the virus will continue to spread, but is less dangerous — compared to typical cold viruses, which also include other coronaviruses. “It’s of course a good situation when you have a virus that no longer makes you very sick, but it is so easy to transmit, that in principle it finds all the immune gaps in the population.”
Development in Great Britain with respect to Omicron is also encouraging, Drosten said, “because the number of serious diseases appears to be lower”. However, the virologist believes that politics in Germany will continue to be challenged “maybe until Easter”. Experts believe that the peak of the Omicron wave in Germany is yet to come.
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