How well is Germany prepared for the Omikron wave?

As of: 12/29/2021 8:35 a.m.

In other countries, the Omikron wave is already so raging that massive numbers of staff are absent – at the airlines, but also in rail traffic, in the fire brigade. According to experts, the wave is still ahead of us in Germany.

By Isabel Reifenrath, ARD capital studio

Candles, a flashlight, enough baby food and enough food for ten days – you should always have this supply at home, as recommended by the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief, or BKK for short. During the Omikron wave, it is said that there could be restrictions, but not the breakdown of the critical infrastructure.

Isabel Reifenrath
ARD capital studio

Supermarkets, the police, fire brigade, media, hospitals, authorities and transport companies are called upon to re-examine their pandemic plans. Even the deputy chairman of the Union parliamentary group, Sepp Müller, is not afraid of failures, for example with electricity: “I hope not and we are one of the industrialized countries that are best prepared for blackouts.”

Companies reserve the right to “barrack”

Many energy providers have run vaccination campaigns. In an emergency, E.ON wants to temporarily accommodate its employees at the site, for example. Other companies also reserve the option of “barracking”. Rescue centers train reserve personnel, the fire brigade can rely on volunteers in an emergency – other areas also on retirees. According to the BKK, the pandemic plans already provide for the quarantine rules to be relaxed – should the critical infrastructure otherwise not be able to be maintained.

The doctor and member of the Green Party, Janosch Dahmen, is still worried: “I think it will not be enough if all emergency plans focus on every hospital and every waterworks trying to prepare on their own. We also have to prepare each other Adjacent structures help that one hospital takes over tasks in the event of the failure of another hospital and that the pandemic plans are coordinated with one another. “

The BBK does not see itself responsible for this. The federal authority only provides administrative assistance when a country asks them to do so. The governing mayor of Berlin, Franziska Giffey, assumes that the critical infrastructure of Berlin can cope with a staff shortage of thirty percent: “That has to be prepared and of course we can only say that the vaccination campaign is of crucial importance.”

Müller calls for tightening of the entry rules

The state’s crisis team meets in Berlin today. So the preparations are under way. Müller from the CDU does not understand why Germany has not long since tightened its entry rules, such as Austria – in order to slow down the spread of the Omikron variant. “It makes a difference whether we have omicrons predominant in mid-January or in mid-February,” he says. “That makes a difference of 30 days and, in the best case, 30 million vaccinations – with which we could break the wave in the best case.”

The Federal Ministry of the Interior sees the critical infrastructure as well prepared. Accordingly, the companies and operators now have experience from four pandemic waves, it said in an email to ARD capital studio. Dahmen warns that the Bundestag and the state parliaments must be able to meet immediately if the situation worsens.

Omikron Wave – Is Critical Infrastructure Sufficiently Prepared?

Isabel Reifenrath, ARD Berlin, December 29th, 2021 8:02 am

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