Epidemiologist Karl Lauterbach, Germany’s new health minister

The prominent German epidemiologist Karl Lauterbach, a Social Democrat member of parliament, will be the Minister of Health in the new coalition government, which will herald a new political era with Olaf Scholz at the helm of the Chancellery, which has chaired the Chancellery for 16 years.

Lauterbach, who will replace Jens Spahn at the head of the department, is a familiar face in the German population through his appearances on television programs in which he urged the population to respect the restrictions on the spread of the coronavirus.

Last week, the epidemiologist regretted the massive number of spectators at games in the German Bundesliga, where some stadiums could accommodate 50,000 people, while in his opinion “no game should have more than 5,000 fans in the stands”. .

Epidemiologist Karl Lauterbach, Germany’s new health minister
Epidemiologist Karl Lauterbach, Germany’s new health minister

Lauterbach already has the strong support of Markus Soeder, the Bavarian Prime Minister and, on paper, a political rival as chairman of the conservative Christian-Social Union. “I think he will do his job well,” said Söder in front of the television cameras.

The Minister will be appointed on a Monday on which the number of daily infections in Germany has decreased significantly due to the weekend effect, but the incidence is still at a fairly high level: 441.9 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, reports the official coronavirus Observation center in Germany, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). More than double the previous month, but is in line with the figures for the last few days.

The relative stabilization of the incidence could “on the one hand be a first indication of a weakening dynamic of the transmission due to the significant tightening of the measures to reduce the contacts”, so the last weekly report of the RKI. The development could, however, “at regional level also be due to the increasingly overloaded capacities of the public health system and exhausted laboratory capacities”.

As for the cases, the country has registered 27,836 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, plus another 81 deaths since the previous day.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the RKI has recorded 6,185,961 infections and 103,121 deaths. The number of hospital admissions per 100,000 population within seven days was 5.52 on Friday (5.47 on Thursday). The value plays an important role in assessing the frequency of infection.

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