The Berlin Spectator
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Germany: New Coronavirus Mutation Causes Worries

The Coronavirus variant B117 has hit Berlin, where the Senate Health Administration confirmed one case. Now the authorities are looking for the patient’s contact persons.

Berlin, January 9th, 2021 (The Berlin Spectator) — A person who had recently visited the United Kingdom brought B117, the newly discovered variant of the Coronavirus which supposedly is far more contagious, to Berlin. According to the Senate Health Administration, the individual in question and some of his contact persons have already recovered, but there might be more persons he was in contact with before he was isolated.

From London to Berlin

The ‘Tagesspiegel’ daily reported, the man who had brought in B117 was studying in London. Over the Christmas holidays, he had visited his family in Berlin’s Steglitz-Zehlendorf district. The publication quoted a city council member who said it had taken one day until his family members had gotten ill. With the old Coronavirus variant, it usually takes a week until newly infected persons develop symptoms.

Because of the new Corona variant, the federal government in Berlin had banned passenger flights from the United Kingdom. Only a few days ago, Health Minister Jens Spahn had said the more contagious version of the Coronavirus had not spread too far in Germany. On Christmas Eve, the first B117 case in Germany had been confirmed. A lady had imported the virus mutation to the federal state of Baden-Württemberg from the U.K.. A few more cases have been confirmed in other parts of Germany by now.

Germany Reports 24,694 New Infections

The newly discovered virus mutation is being blamed for the extremely quick spread of Corona in England. According to a study, the variant is 54 to 70 percent more contagious than the version the world has been fighting for a year now. There is fear Germany and other countries might be in a similar situation soon.

In Berlin, the Robert Koch Institute reported 24,694 new Corona infections within 24 hours. The total number since the virus hit Germany a year ago is 1,891,581. Since yesterday, 1,083 Corona-patients have died. The total number of Corona-related deaths is 39,878. Germany’s Seven Day Incidence Number rose again. It now stands at 153.3. Saxony and Thuringia still are the country’s main Corona hotspots.

Vaccination Rates Differ

Almost 51,000 Germans and residents with other nationalities were vaccinated against Corona on Friday. The total number of vaccinated persons in Germany is 476,959, according to the Robert Koch Institute. In the sixteen federal states, the vaccination rates differ a lot. In Mecklenburg-Hither Pomerania, 15 persons per 1,000 inhabitants have been vaccinated so far. In Saxony and Thuringia, where the situation is far more alarming, only 3.8 and 3.7 individuals per 1,000 residents have gotten vaccinations, respectively.