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Delta variant to make up 80 pct of new COVID-19 cases in Germany by end-July: minister

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-07-02 10:05
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A patient suffering from COVID-19 receives treatment at the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the "Klinikum Darmstadt" clinic in Darmstadt, Germany, May 20, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

BERLIN -- The Delta variant is expected to become the dominant COVID-19 strain in Germany before the end of July with its share of positive cases approaching 80 percent, Health Minister Jens Spahn said at a federal press conference here on Thursday.

The share of new COVID-19 infections caused by the more infectious Delta variant has already more than doubled since last week and currently stands at 37 percent, said the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the federal agency and research institute responsible for disease control and prevention.

The German government would likely be able to keep its promise to vaccinate the entire adult population by the end of summer, Spahn said. The more people receive their second vaccine dose, the higher the level of protection will be against the Delta variant.

Almost 31 million people in Germany had already been fully vaccinated by Wednesday, bringing the country's vaccination rate to 37.3 percent, according to the RKI.

Spahn urged his non-vaccinated compatriots to get tested regularly. "This is another important difference from last year, we have tests available on a large scale," he said.

Meanwhile, the number of daily COVID-19 infections is continuing to fall as 892 new cases were registered within 24 hours on Thursday, 116 less than one week ago, the RKI said.

To date, almost 3.73 million COVID-19 infections have been officially registered in Germany since the outbreak of the pandemic. The death toll climbed to 90,938 on Thursday, according to the RKI.

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