Investigating a possible new variant of coronavirus detected in the Garmisch-Partenkirchen clinic, Bavaria, according to information from public television ARD, obtained by the Efe Agency. Among the experts in charge of analyzing the case is Christian Drosten, the Director of Virology at La Charité University Clinic in Berlin, and a leading virologist in Germany.
The suspicion is due to a outbreak at the Garmisch-Partenkirchen clinic, in which 73 positives were confirmed in patients and medical personnel. Three of these positives seem to indicate a variant hitherto unknown, although at the moment it has not been determined if it is of greater risk.
In Germany there has been a clear slowdown in new infections in recent days, although the health authorities and the government of Angela Merkel warn against the extension of the British or South African variant.
Controlling the spread in German territory of these new variants is essential because appear to be more infectious, according to the Minister of Health, Jens Spahn. "It seems that they do not affect the severity of the disease. But they infect many more people. That means more hospitalized and greater occupation of the ICU," he stressed.
In Germany, 46,633 people have died from or with Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, and the number of infected stands at 2,040,659 according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) of virology. On the last 24 hours, 141 new cases and 214 deaths were verified, the lower figures in weeks.
Merkel will meet with regional leaders on Tuesday, January 19, a week ahead of schedule, to analyze the evolution of the pandemic.
From the government and from the ‘Länder’ (federated states) a possible extension of restrictions or new measures, night curfew included.
Olaf Scholz, Minister of Finance, ventured that the current situation could be prolonged until mid February.
Since the beginning of November all leisure, cultural life and gastronomy have been closed, a situation that was expanded with the entry of December to all commercial activity or non-essential services.
School attendance has not resumed after the Christmas holidays nor is it expected to do so until February.
Mobility, on the other hand, is also limited to a radius of 15 kilometers around the affected town or district, that is, where the weekly incidence of 200 cases per 100,000 inhabitants is exceeded.