The Covid-19 pandemic is over, according to Christian Drosten, Germany’s top virologist, .
“The disease is now past the pandemic stage and we are experiencing the first endemic wave with Sars-CoV-2 this winter,” Drosten told the Tagesspiegel newspaper. “After this winter, the immunity in the population would be so broad and resilient that the virus stands little chance in the summer,” added Drosten, who heads the virology division at Berlin’s Charité University Hospital said.
Most German doctors agree although a few say an official annoucement should not be made until spring. “I expect that the pandemic has about run its course,” says Chrisitan Karagiannidis, an intensive care physician who is also a member of Germany’s Covid-19 expert council.
While one or two small Covid-19 waves were still likely, Karagiannidis said the population’s immunity was solid and there were significantly fewer Covid-19 patients in intensive care units.
Drosten credits the success of the vaccination campaigns in Germany and other European countries as the reason for the end of the pandemic. He added that this is not the case in China, for example, where corona infections are currently spreading rapidly.
Drosten also defended the protective measures against the coronavirus. “If nothing had been done, there would have been a million or more deaths in Germany in the waves up to delta,” he said. The delta variant of the virus reached Germany in mid-2021.
German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann called for lifting all restrictive measures in response to Drosten’s statements. “Proof of vaccination and masking requirements have been lifted throughout the European Union so we should now acknowledge the end of the pandemic
“We are in the endemic situation at this point, as all the data indicates,” Buschmann said. “As a political consequence, we should terminate the last coronavirus protective measures that are still in place.”
Most corona protection measures have already been lifted in Germany. However, the obligation to wear masks on public transport and in hospitals, care facilities and medical practices continues to apply. In some medical facilities, there are also mandatory tests or visit restrictions.