MORE than nine people were being vaccinated against the Coronavirus in Germany every second as Europe’s biggest economy steps up its immunisation programme.
The programme was to counter the threat posed by the virulent Delta variant.
About a third of the country is now fully immunised, the German government’s agency for disease control and prevention, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) said on Thursday.
“Looking at the Delta variant, we are keeping up the vaccination pace,’’ German Health Jens Spahn wrote on Twitter.
A total of 1.3 million doses of vaccine were administered in Germany on Wednesday alone with an average of more than nine people being vaccinated in the nation every second, the RKI said.
The institute also said that 52.2 per cent of the population of 84 million had also received their first COVID-19 vaccination shot.
The vaccination campaign came amid a dramatic fall in the number of new cases across the nation and signs of a return to a sense of normalcy in economic and public life as lockdown measures are eased.
The vaccine roll-out and the decline in caseloads was also helping to boost business confidence in the country, which this month hit its highest level since November 2018, according to the Munich-based Ifo institute.
This was in spite of the signs that the Delta variant was spreading out across the nation.
RKI data showed the strain’s proportion of cases as having almost doubled over the last week to 15.1 per cent.
The Health Minister, Spahn has called on Germans to keep an eye on the pandemic situation in countries they plan on travelling to, particularly in light of the Delta strain.
“I appeal to all travellers to inform themselves carefully about the incidence of infection, to accept test offers and to take the quarantine obligations seriously,’’ Spahn told the Thursday edition of the Handelsblatt newspaper.
“This way, the vacation summer season does not lead to an autumn of worry.’’
Asked whether people could book their holidays without concern of disruption, in spite of the more transmissible Delta variant, Spahn said: “In principle, yes.’’
“But it’s a different story for travel to countries that have already been hit hard by the Delta variant.’’
In those places, he said, the risk of contracting the virus and bringing it home is significantly higher.
Yet the strain is already taking hold in Europe,the EU’s disease surveillance agency said on Wednesday that Delta, which was first detected in India, would inevitably dominate across Europe.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said that by late August it expects Delta to account for 90 per cent of all new infections in the European Union and the associated countries of Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. (dpa/NAN)
– June 24, 2021 @ 14:22 GMT|