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Situation is "worrying": Corona variant spreads in the Rhein-Sieg district

Situation is "worrying" : Corona variant spreads in the Rhein-Sieg district

The Rhein-Sieg-Kreis receives many applications for preferential treatment, which are being examined legally. Meanwhile, the Corona variant B.1.1.7. continues to spread.

„Worrying" above all is the spread of variant B.1.1.7., according to District Administrator Sebastian Schuster. The variant of the corona virus discovered in England continues to spread. The first case in the Rhein-Sieg district showed how contagious it is. The senior citizen, who had been admitted from a home for the elderly in the Cura Hospital in Bad Honnef at the beginning of February, is apparently the source of a series of outbreaks throughout the Rhein-Sieg district. B.1.1.7 has already been detected 58 times, there are 33 cases in retirement and nursing homes, and it is precisely these 33 that are "spatially linked to the lady from the Bad Honnef clinic," said Ralf Thomas, head of the Covid specialist unit, at the district's telephone press conference on Tuesday.

The variants B.1.351 from South Africa and P.1 from Brazil have not been detected so far, he added. The district administrator expressly welcomed the fact that the city of Bonn has now also begun to investigate the positive Corona cases more intensively for variants. It now remains to be seen what the efficacy of Astrazeneca's Covid 19 vaccine will be. The Rhein-Sieg district has already vaccinated around 2300 doses of this vaccine and will receive a further 4100, all of which are intended as special quotas for employees of emergency services, the police and the fire department. Those over 80 currently vaccinated at the Sankt Augustin vaccination center will continue to receive the vaccine from Biontech, according to Ingo Freier, head of the Office of Civil Protection at the district.

Again overcapacity of vaccine

Overcapacity of vaccine has again occurred: On Rose Monday, five people did not show up for their appointments, on Sunday there were 19, on Saturday one, which according to Freier had been given to people on the priority list - mainly doctors and employees in the vaccination center.

Is the district also thinking about convening an independent ethics committee, similar to the one in Cologne, to decide on the vaccination of overcapacities or special cases? There are, for example, seriously ill people or people with severe disabilities who demand a higher prioritization and request an earlier vaccination.

In principle, there is no reason for this, said district spokeswoman Rita Lorenz when asked. That's because, unlike the previous version, the federal Corona vaccination regulation in its current version of Feb. 8 no longer grants discretion in allocating vaccine doses outside the standard order. Lorenz: "If the decree situation should make it possible, however, disputed cases would be discussed again in a panel of experts. Also for this the Rhein-Sieg-Kreis already considerations are being made, in order to occupy such a profession-wide committee."

At the end of the day, he said, there are only a few exceptional cases in which a case-by-case approach is necessary. "Nevertheless, many requests for prioritization are received here. We have created the following process within the health department for this: All applications are first subjected to a preliminary legal examination to determine whether there is any room for maneuver in the decision-making process. If there is no such leeway, a negative decision is issued," says the spokeswoman. If there is an atypical circumstance from a legal point of view, an assessment is made by medical experts from the health department. "If they see justification for special treatment, the data is forwarded to Office 38 for accessibility. From there, an invitation for preferential vaccination is issued. If the medical examiner sees no reason for preferential vaccination, a negative decision is also issued.“

Staff at the limit

Thomas explains the fact that there are still a lot of outbreaks in senior citizens' homes by the fact that the staff is working completely at the limit, but also by the fact that a number of residents still have outside contacts. Thomas: "Hygienic reasons are hardly worth mentioning, in any case."

That the number of new infections and thus the incidence value continue to fall, Schuster is therefore only mutedly pleased. The state could not provide figures on Tuesday, but according to the situation report of the district government of Cologne, the Rhein-Sieg district has the fourth lowest incidence value in the state: 52.3 per 100,000 inhabitants. Seven municipalities in the district have single-digit incidence rates for their newly infected people; "top of the class," Schuster said, is Rheinbach, with only two newly infected people.

Meanwhile, the district is preparing for secondary vaccinations to begin March 1. Then it is conceivable to release further vaccination lines on the sixth floor of the children's hospital, it said.

(Original text: Dylan Cem Akalin, Translation: Mareike Graepel)