Sunday, June 7, 2020

Coronavirus: Leopoldina recommendations end of shutdown

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DThe National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina believes that measures to combat the corona pandemic can be relaxed after the Easter holidays. Next week, the Prime Ministers want to consult with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) about a possible relaxation of the massive restrictions on public life. In the meantime, the academy is said to have worked out further proposals on how “sustainable” restarting of public life and the economy “is possible.

A spokeswoman for the Leopoldina of the German Press Agency confirmed that ethical, social and economic aspects would also be taken into account.

The Leopoldina experts have already appealed that, in addition to the existing distance and hygiene recommendations, seven points should be taken into account so that rules can be relaxed:

1. Mouth-nose protection

A gradual relaxation of the measures should go hand in hand with full-coverage mouth and nose protection. This reduces the transmission of viruses. It also serves limited self-protection. “The shortage should already be bridged by self-made mouth-nose protection, scarves and scarves,” it says. These should cover the mouth, nose, chin and the side edges as completely as possible.

2. Technical solutions

The experts are in favor of using digital tools such as apps, in which people “voluntarily and in compliance with data protection and personal rights” provide data on possible infection routes. This is essential so that potentially endangered people can be informed and “targeted” measures can be taken.

3. Test capacities

In addition, the capacities for corona tests should be increased further and veterinary facilities should also be used during a transition period. “This will help to better narrow the focus of the spread and to ensure that quarantine measures are taken precisely,” it says.

4. Representative tests

It was also important to test the population representative. In this way, an overview of acute infections can be gained. In addition, immunity should be tested. These are prerequisites for a realistic assessment of the situation.

5. Risk factors

In the case of new patients, it must be comprehensively recorded which risk factors such as age, smoking or previous illnesses are present. This would require a uniform electronic process. “Since the risk factors significantly influence the severity of the course of the disease, this information is important in order to estimate a possible overload of the public health system,” said the experts.

6. Create structure in clinics

In the meantime it was necessary to significantly restructure the clinics in Germany, but this had to be checked and adjusted regularly. Other acutely or permanently ill people should not fall out of care. Important diagnoses should be made early, long-term therapies should not be interrupted. Video consultations and other digital offerings could play an increasing role.

7. Communication

According to the scientists, the population shows a high willingness to implement the measures. But that could be strengthened by communicating regularly and transparently. For example, it is a matter of communicating comprehensible targets such as the number of seriously ill people in relation to the supply capacity. The information that infected people could infect other people two and a half days before the first symptoms is also very important.

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