Merkel’s chief of staff says Germany in most dangerous phase of pandemic

Berlin, Mar 28 (efe-epa).- Germany is likely living through the most dangerous phase of the coronavirus pandemic as new virus variants that are resistant to vaccines could emerge, the chancellery chief of staff said on Sunday.

Helge Braun explained that if the number of Covid-19 infections rises rapidly during the vaccination campaign, there is an increasing danger the virus might mutate to become resistant to the vaccines.

“In this case, we would need new vaccines and we would have to start vaccinating all over again,” he added in an interview with the Bild newspaper.

Braun, a medical doctor, highlighted the importance of not easing the restrictive measures too soon, in order to curb the virus’ spread.

Infections in Germany have been trending upwards for several weeks, leading Merkel and the premiers of the country’s 16 federal states to extend lockdown until April 18.

Earlier this week, Germany’s Covid-19 strategy was thrown into confusion when the government overturned a plan to tighten an existing nationwide lockdown over the Easter holiday after it drew criticism.

The seven-day Covid-19 incidence rate has surged to 129.7 cases per 100,000 people, compared to 124.9 on Saturday and 103.9 a week ago.

More than 8.5 million people (10.3% of the population) have received the first vaccine dose, while 3.8 million others (4.5%) have taken the second.

Since the start of the pandemic, Germany has recorded 2,777,735 coronavirus cases and 76,544 deaths.EFE-EPA

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