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Angela Merkel: Europe Is

Angela Merkel: Europe Is

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that Europe is "on thin ice" as the Delta variant of Covid spreads on the continent. Her warning came as EU health officials said the variant would account for 90% of the bloc's cases by late August.

 

The spread could disrupt plans for lifting restrictions during the summer. The Alpha variant, first discovered in the UK, hit Europe hard early this year and Delta, now dominant in the UK, is thought 40%-60% more transmissible.

 

Andrea Ammon, the director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), said on Wednesday that the spread of the Delta variant showed the importance of speeding up vaccinations in Europe, as "preliminary data shows that it can also infect individuals that have received only one dose of the currently available vaccines".

 

Two doses offered "high protection" against the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant, she added. Delta, first identified in India, now accounts for almost all new infections in the UK. On Wednesday Mrs Merkel called for a more co-ordinated EU response and said all member states should quarantine arrivals from the UK considering the dangers of the spread of Delta.

 

The UK is not on the EU's list of safe countries, due to the spread of Delta, but that list is not binding on member states. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that while fully vaccinating people offered "a good way forward" for resuming travel, this summer would not be "like every other. This is going to be a more difficult summer to take a holiday".

 

Source: BBC

 

 

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