The incidences are low, the weather is good, there have been more easings and an end to further measures is in sight. At a Corona press conference of the Lord Mayor Dr. Frank Mentrup was warned, however: The city’s wastewater monitoring – a kind of early warning system that analyzes the city’s wastewater and thus predicts the trend in infection over the coming days before the incidence values that result from tests.
The city administration is already collecting data from the wastewater monitoring method and using it. However, this is hardly discussed in public, because wastewater monitoring is not a public instrument to which corona policy is based – the incidences count here. The parliamentary group Freie Wahler and FÜR Karlsruhe drew attention to the wastewater monitoring method early in the crisis and would have liked to have discussed the topic in the municipal council meeting, but the majority of the committee did not think that further discussion was necessary. City councilor Friedemann Kalmbach sees it differently: “I think that the discussion would have been important. Mainly because the incidences are no longer so meaningful. Mentrup also repeatedly points out in his press conferences that the wastewater values indicate the future development of incidences. It is therefore incomprehensible that this tool is not available to the general public.”
The general validity of the incidences in particular is problematic: “It is difficult to tie the corona measures to the incidence – this is reflected in the current figures: the more people are vaccinated, the less they are tested, which means that the incidence also falls. If there are many new infections in one place in Karlsruhe, the incidence values suggest a wide range of new infections throughout the city, which is very imprecise. The wastewater analysis is much more differentiated and would be an adequate additional tool to observe the infection process. We no longer think it is appropriate to simply stick to the incidences,” says City Councilor Petra Lorenz and advocates publication of the wastewater values: “It would be transparent if the discussion came to the municipal council and the population knew about the upcoming infection process, to to be able to prepare. We’re already using the method. Nothing speaks against making transparent politics.” The parliamentary group continues to work to ensure that the issue is put on the agenda. One wishes for a public discourse on the publication of the results of the wastewater analysis, which predict the future course of infection.