The delta variant will be the main one this summer, warns the German Health Minister

(CNN) – German Health Minister Jens Spahn warned on Friday that the proportion of the highly infectious delta variant among new COVID-19 infections continues to grow significantly in Germany, despite the encouraging downward trend in cases. of coronavirus.

“The delta variant will be the main one during the (boreal) summer, it is more a matter of weeks than months,” Spahn told a health news conference on Friday, adding that the variant currently represents more than 15% of cases. of coronavirus in Germany.

Lothar Wieler, director of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the German Public Health Institute, stated at the same press conference that “the delta is spreading faster, especially among people who have not been vaccinated”, and He warned that the pandemic is not over yet.

A report released by the RKI on Wednesday said that “the proportion of delta cases continues to rise and the proportion of this VOC (worrying variant) doubled in one week.”

German Health Minister Jens Spahn during a coronavirus conference in April 2020 (Credit: JOHN MACDOUGALL / POOL / AFP via Getty Images)

“The current distribution of variants in Germany shows that it can be expected to prevail over other variants,” the report added.

The focus remains on vaccination

Spahn said Friday that the spread of the delta variant will depend on how many people get vaccinated during the summer and the incidence rate of the infection.

As of Friday, nearly 53% of Germans had received a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, and nearly 34% had received a second dose of the vaccine, according to the latest data from the RKI.

Since Friday, Germany has reopened the borders to non-European Union citizens, who are vaccinated with both doses, for non-essential travel, such as tourism and visits to friends and family, if 14 days have passed since who were vaccinated. However, the German Home Secretary said that this measure would not apply to the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland and all British Overseas Territories, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, to maintain the entry ban for people from from areas with variants of the virus, as is currently the case in the United Kingdom.

Germany reported 774 new coronavirus cases on Friday in the past 24 hours, according to the RKI. RKI data also indicated that the death toll in the country this Friday amounted to 62, bringing the total to 90,678.

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