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Germany: Merkel Worried About ‘Delta’ Variant of Coronavirus

In the past 16 months, Angela Merkel’s meetings with the First Ministers from Germany’s federal states were all about Corona. This time, they discussed power lines, green energy and Germany’s digitization, which always lags behind. But, yes, Corona played a role too.

Berlin, June 11th, 2021 (The Berlin Spectator) — It may have been the last time Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted one of those meetings with a very long name: ‘Ministerpräsidentenkonferenz’. Exactly 500 days ago today, the first Coronavirus infection was confirmed in Germany. Since, the 28 letters of that long word have appeared in German newspapers all the time. This time, the meeting reflected the return to normality in many areas.

‘Corona Has Not Vanished’

Afterwards, the departing head of government appeared in front of the cameras. She said the development in regard to the infection numbers was very encouraging. But Angela Merkel did say she was worried. This time, it is about the Delta mutation of the Coronavirus, formerly known as the Indian variant, because that is where it was detected first. Delta has reached Germany. These days, it accounts for 2.5 percent of all new Corona infections in the country. In Great Britain, the Delta mutant is spreading quickly, just like the so-called British variant did months ago, before it hit Germany and the rest of Europe.

Mrs. Merkel said each day on which the verifiability was low was a good day. It was important to make headway in the vaccination campaign. “We are in a race with those vaccinations”, the Chancellor stated. She also said the efforts of the past months had paid off, but added Corona had not vanished yet. When asked about vaccine donations to poor countries, she said she could not promise anything right now since it was unclear how many doses would be delivered in July, August and September. It was important to offer vaccinations to all citizens. This was what the United States of America had done as well.

‘We Should Not Be Headless’

Bavaria’s First Minister Markus Söder said after the meeting, it was too early to allow big public events to take place. The situation had improved a lot, but each day there were more worries about the Delta variant of the Coronavirus. This was not the moment to get rid of all Corona rules. “We should not be headless”, Söder said. In the next two weeks, the heads of the state chancelleries in the capitals of all federal states are supposed to develop a concept about how to deal with large events.

Today’s numbers look good. Germany’s Seven Day Incidence is now 18.6. Four states now have one-digit Incidences. They are Brandenburg (7.8), Mecklenburg-Hither Pomerania (6.0), Schleswig-Holstein (9.4) and Saxony-Anhalt (9.9.). Twelve out of 412 counties are still above 50. Schweinfurt is Germany’s Corona hotspot today, with an Incidence of 74.9. Berlin stands at 16.6.

Sixty Million Doses

Germany’s vaccination campaign is making progress. On Wednesday alone, some 1.3 million people got their shots administered. Almost 60 million vaccination doses have been administered since December. Forty-seven percent of all Germans got at least one of two required shots, while 23.9 percent are fully vaccinated. Germany has promised all adults they would get “vaccination offers” until the end of the summer. There are three months and ten days left.

All relevant Corona numbers for Germany, and daily Corona updates, can be found in our Corona chronology.

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