Germany Covid nightmare: Delta variant surges – Merkel urged to speed up vaccines

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The share of coronavirus infections caused by the fast-spreading variant more than doubled in Germany within a week and is likely to gain more traction over other variants, the Robert Koch Institute public health agency said on Monday.

A whole genome sequencing analysis showed the Delta variant – first identified in India – accounting for 36 percnet of infections in the week June 14-20, RKI President Lothar Wieler told Funke media group.

That compared with 15 percnet in the previous week.

Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Soeder told reporters earlier on Monday that he expected the Delta variant to become the dominant virus strain in Germany by summer. Cases caused by the variant have also been surging in several other countries.

“Ignoring the Delta variant would be a serious mistake,” Soeder warned, adding that nobody should think problems related to the more infectious variant would just go away.

Soeder urged citizens to get vaccinated as this would offer the best protection against the coronavirus.

In Germany, roughly 54% of the population has received a first jab and some 35% are fully vaccinated. Health officials have said the spread of the disease can be slowed and the number of cases, hospitalizations and COVID-19 deaths reduced if a high percentage of the population gets vaccinated.

More to follow…

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