Corona live: New Sars-CoV-2 variant found in five other countries

Lauterbach warns of the rapid advance of the coronavirus mutation

SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach has warned urgently against the rapid penetration of the coronavirus variant discovered in Great Britain into Germany. “If it came now that we are in the middle of the second wave, where we have such high case numbers, it would be a disaster,” said Lauterbach on Sunday evening in the “Bild” talk “The right questions”. “It’s similar to having a fire and pouring some more gasoline.” Lauterbach put the probability that the new, allegedly more contagious Corona variant will sooner or later come to Germany at 100 percent.

A mutation of the virus was recently discovered in Great Britain which, according to initial findings by scientists, is said to be up to 70 percent more contagious than the previously known form. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there was no evidence that vaccines against the mutation were less effective. Because of the coronavirus variant, Germany and other European countries are increasingly sealing themselves off from the United Kingdom at the beginning of the week.

Lauterbach said that he hoped that the variant had not yet arrived in Germany. “Then we have to fight that it stays that way for as long as possible.” This is “another reason why we have to rigorously carry out the hard lockdown” until the new infections per 100,000 inhabitants are well below 50 or better below 25 within seven days. Then you can, “even if the new mutation is there, immediately discover and end each new cluster and come back to the wave”. However, six federal states alone are currently above the 200 mark, including Saxony with a maximum of 427 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days.

Lauterbach is convinced that the entry restrictions imposed by Germany and other EU countries for travelers from Great Britain and South Africa, which is also affected by the virus variant, are urgently needed and may have to be maintained for a long time. “If it is confirmed that it is so much more virulent, then I would assume at least weeks, if not months.” And even after the entry bans have been lifted, everyone who comes from the regions should continue to be tested.

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