Merkel cautions against spread of Covid Delta variant

DAVOS, Jan. 23, 2020 (Xinhua) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 23, 2020. (Xinhua/Guo Chen/IANS)

Berlin, June 24 (IANS) Although the current infection situation in Germany was “encouraging,” Chancellor Angela Merkel called for further caution over the Covid-19 crisis during her last government question session in the Bundestag on Wednesday.

“Even if the third wave has been impressively broken, the pandemic is not over yet,” said Merkel. “We are still on thin ice.” Keeping distance, hygiene and the use of protective masks in certain situations were still “important protective measures and will remain important,” she added, Xinhua reported.

Germany’s incidence rate of Covid-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days continued to fall to 7.2 on Wednesday, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). A week ago, the country’s seven-day incidence rate stood at 13.

The number of new daily Covid-19 infections also remained below the previous week’s level as 1,016 new cases were registered in Germany on Wednesday, according to the RKI.

Merkel highlighted the threat posed by the spreading of coronavirus mutations. “We must not now lightly risk what we have achieved together,” said Merkel.

Although the share of the Covid-19 Delta variant in Germany only reached six percent of new cases as of last Friday, the strain was spreading at a fast pace, warned the RKI.

As of Tuesday, almost 27 million people in Germany had been fully vaccinated, bringing the country’s vaccination rate to 32.4 per cent, the RKI said. Almost 43 million people have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose.


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