Nav: Home

Coronavirus pandemic in Germany: Challenges and options for intervention

March 25, 2020

The worldwide spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and its associated respiratory disease COVID-19 proceeds at a highly dynamic pace. The Leopoldina has convened an interdisciplinary group of scientists to investigate the current situation. The resulting ad-hoc statement 'Coronavirus Pandemic in Germany: Challenges and Options for Intervention' discusses potential health policy options to counter the coronavirus pandemic in Germany.

Measures taken by the German Federal Government and the German Federal States (Länder) to curb the ongoing coronavirus pandemic are urgently required at present and correspond to the threat posed by the pandemic. They consist of three elements: (1) containment of the epidemic, (2) protection of vulnerable population groups, and (3) capacity increase in the public healthcare system and in the public supply of critical goods and services.

There is scientific evidence for the effectiveness and necessity of selected measures, while others are proposed on the basis of projections and political considerations. Top priority must be given to the development of drugs and vaccines. With this, medical ethics must be considered. The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina will support and accompany the readjustment and design of measures within the coming weeks in close exchange with the international scientific community.

From a scientific point of view, a Germany-wide temporary shutdown (of approx. 3 weeks) with consistent physical distancing seems advisable at this time. Necessary and health-preserving activities must remain possible. All efforts in the next weeks and months should be directed towards making pharmaceutical interventions and protective measures available for the public, and towards assuring testing capacities for cases suspected of infection and for those persons entering the country. During the shutdown period, preparations must be made for the controlled and selective restart of public and economic life.

By means of a temporary "shutdown", the working group discussed a stringent nationwide curfew until at least after the Easter holidays. At that point, the situation would have to be re-evaluated. This would not imply a work prohibition, a ban on purchasing food or even a ban on going for walks with the family. The goal is to make consistent use of home office, if possible. A disciplined spatial distance of 2 meters between people is also crucial, especially if they do not live in the same household.
The detailed ad-hoc statement is available at:


Related Pandemic Articles:

The world faces an air pollution 'pandemic'
Air pollution is responsible for shortening people's lives worldwide on a scale far greater than wars and other forms of violence, parasitic and insect-born diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and smoking, according to a study published in Cardiovascular Research.
Justinianic plague not a landmark pandemic?
A study of diverse datasets, including pollen, coinage, and funeral practices, reveals that the effects of the late antique plague pandemic commonly known as the Justinianic Plague may have been overestimated.
The diabetes pandemic and the promise of connected care
Digital diabetes management systems ('connected diabetes care') have the potential to become part of a new diabetes care model, augmenting the traditional practice of diabetes care by providing continuous and on-demand care that aligns with the 24/7 demands of diabetes as a chronic disease.
Flu virus could evolve resistance to pandemic drug
The influenza virus can evolve resistance to an anti-flu drug currently in development for use in pandemics but only if there are multiple genetic mutations, a study has found.
Lessons from the 1918 flu pandemic, 100 years on
With flu season nearly upon us, a new study looks at the factors behind the extremely high mortality of the 1918 flu pandemic and how to prepare for future outbreaks.
Dogs can be a potential risk for future influenza pandemic
Dogs are a potential reservoir for a future influenza pandemic, according to a study published in the journal mBio.
Report identifies characteristics of microorganisms most likely to cause a global pandemic
A potential global catastrophic risk-level pandemic pathogen will most likely have a respiratory mode of transmission; be contagious during the incubation period, prior to symptom development, or when infected individuals show only mild symptoms; and need specific host population factors (e.g., immunologically naïve persons) and additional intrinsic microbial pathogenicity characteristics (e.g., a low but significant case fatality rate) that together substantially increase disease spread and infection.
Pandemic risk: How large are the expected losses?
Greater investment is needed to prepare against pandemics -- the worldwide spread of an infectious disease.
Parkinson's disease: A looming pandemic
New research shows that the number of people with Parkinson's disease will soon grow to pandemic proportions.
Vaccines do work for pandemic flu, says study
Vaccines are successful in preventing pandemic flu and reducing the number of patients hospitalized as a result of the illness, a study led by academics at the University of Nottingham has found.
More Pandemic News and Pandemic Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

There's so much we've yet to explore–from outer space to the deep ocean to our own brains. This hour, Manoush goes on a journey through those uncharted places, led by TED Science Curator David Biello.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#555 Coronavirus
It's everywhere, and it felt disingenuous for us here at Science for the People to avoid it, so here is our episode on Coronavirus. It's ok to give this one a skip if this isn't what you want to listen to right now. Check out the links below for other great podcasts mentioned in the intro. Host Rachelle Saunders gets us up to date on what the Coronavirus is, how it spreads, and what we know and don't know with Dr Jason Kindrachuk, Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology and infectious diseases at the University of Manitoba. And...
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 1: Numbers
In a recent Radiolab group huddle, with coronavirus unraveling around us, the team found themselves grappling with all the numbers connected to COVID-19. Our new found 6 foot bubbles of personal space. Three percent mortality rate (or 1, or 2, or 4). 7,000 cases (now, much much more). So in the wake of that meeting, we reflect on the onslaught of numbers - what they reveal, and what they hide.  Support Radiolab today at