Health expert expects Delta coronavirus variant to spread throughout Germany

Health expert expects Delta coronavirus variant to spread throughout Germany

The German politician and doctor, Karl Lauterbach (SPD), has told reporters that he expects the “Delta” variant of the coronavirus to spread throughout Germany, potentially leading to a new wave of infections.

Health expert expects fourth coronavirus wave

The SPD’s spokesperson on health, Karl Lauterbach, has told reporters that the recently renamed “Delta” variant (B.1.617.2) will likely spread to European countries in the next few months. Lauterbach said that a new wave of infections could be expected by the end of the summer, although the extent of this fourth wave is not yet clear. “Due to travellers, the mutant will also spread extensively in Germany in the autumn at the latest,” he told reporters.

Lauterbach also suggested the possibility of a completely new mutation, “which we don’t know yet,” spreading through the country in Autumn.

Delta variant present in Germany

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has indicated that the new Delta variant is still having a minor impact in Germany today. According to a report by the RKI, which was published on Wednesday morning, the Delta variant was present in around 2,1 percent of COVID-19 test samples during the week starting May 17. This makes the delta variant the second largest in Germany, although the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7), which was originally detected in the UK, has been detected in about 93 percent of cases.

The Alpha variant is the most common mutation currently found in Germany, has spread rapidly across the globe since the end of 2020. Two other variants, Beta (B.1.315) and Gamma (P.1), which were first detected in South Africa and Brazil respectively, have also be classified as a cause for concern, although these have been found in a significantly smaller number of cases.

Preparing for a new mutation

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) said on Wednesday that he was already preparing for a possible fourth wave of the coronavirus in Germany. “I have already started the talks with experts and the Robert Koch Institute,” Spahn told reporters.

However, Spahn has said that he does not expect another sudden spike in infections due to Germany’s renewed vaccination efforts and careful reopening strategy. Over the past couple of weeks, shops and businesses have been able to open again, as the seven-day incidence rate continues to fall across the country.

Lauterbach, on the other hand, has raised the possibility of, in addition to booster vaccinations, it becoming necessary to vaccinate the general public with a new vaccine that would be able to protect against any new mutations. Although, he did say he expected low and stable infection figures for the time being.

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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