Share of Covid-19 cases caused by Delta variant more than double in Germany

Infections of Delta strain in country increase by 21% in one week

A doctor vaccinates an employee with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine at the vaccination center of CHEMPARK operator CURRENTA in Leverkusen, western Germany, on June 22, 2021, amid the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Since June the prioritisation for vaccination against Covid-19 has been lifted nationwide. Now the company doctors at the sites in the CHEMPARKS of Leverkusen, Krefeld-Uerdingen and Dormagen can vaccinate the approx. 35000 employees. It is a joint initiative of the companies located at the CHEMPARK sites, which include CHEMPARK operator CURRENTA, LANXESS, Bayer and Covestro.  / AFP / Ina FASSBENDER

The share of Covid-19 cases caused by the more infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus more than doubled in Germany within a week and is likely to become even more dominant, a senior health official said on Monday.

Lothar Wieler, president of the Robert Koch Institute public health agency, told officials that a genome sequencing analysis showed the Delta strain accounting for 36 per cent of infections in the week to June 20.

Given the fast spread of the newer variant and the slow analysis of the detailed data, Mr Wieler estimated that the Delta variant now already represented more than 50 per cent of registered cases, an official at the meeting said.

Bavarian Premier Markus Soeder said earlier on Monday that he expected the Delta variant, first identified in India, to become the dominant strain in Germany by summer.

Cases caused by the variant have also been surging in other countries.

"Ignoring the Delta variant would be a serious mistake," Mr Soeder said.

He said no one should think problems related to the more infectious variant would just go away.

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

In Germany, about 54 per cent of the population has received a first dose and about 35 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Health officials say the spread of the disease can be slowed and the number of cases, people needing hospital treatment and Covid-19 deaths reduced if a high percentage of the population is vaccinated.

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