Daily Host Nation Update, June 21, 2021
RKI reports 346 new infections – incidence drops to 8.6
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reports 346 new positive tests. The seven-day incidence continues to drop to 8.6 from 8.8 the previous day. The figure indicates how many people per 100,000 population have contracted coronavirus in the past seven days. Ten more people died in connection with the virus. This brings the total number of reported deaths within 24 hours to 90,395. In total, there have been more than 3.7 million positive corona tests in Germany. The Monday values are usually less meaningful than those on other weekdays, because not all health offices transmit their data to the RKI on the weekend and less testing is done.(Robert Koch Institute, June 21)
Delta variant of coronavirus must be taken seriously
Berlin – According to Charité virologist Christian Drosten, Germany must take the delta variant in the pandemic seriously with immediate effect. “I have now reached the point where I say we are now in the race here in Germany with the delta variant,” Drosten said Friday evening at the Online Congress for Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine. “We really have to take this seriously from now on.”
According to an analysis by the Robert Koch Institute for the first week of June, the level of delta variant in Germany had nearly doubled to six percent in just one week. In the weeks before, this mutant tended to stagnate around two percent nationwide. Even now it is still at a comparatively low level – but in retrospect. In southern Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein, he said, there is an outbreak happening right now. “It reminds me of the beginning of the B.1.1.7 epidemic in Germany, where it was the same,” the virologist said.
However, he said, there is not yet sufficient immunity from vaccination in Germany to limit a possible rise in incidence. Nationwide, about half of adults have been vaccinated once, and just under a third have been fully vaccinated. In England, however, incidences continued to rise despite higher vaccination rates, Drosten said. There, he said, contagions have spilled over into schools and into event and recreational settings among young people. “We will probably see that in Germany as well.”
The virologist Hendrik Streeck of Bonn stressed that we are not at the end of the pandemic. He complained that the political arena is still too reactive and not active enough. “We are failing to learn from the pandemic to the maximum and prepare for fall and winter. There is a general impression that the virus will disappear and that we will have overcome the pandemic if the next few months go quietly,” Streeck told the “Fuldaer Zeitung” (Saturday). However, he said, one must prepare for all eventualities that could occur in the fall. There are too many unknowns – including the Delta variant, he said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel also spoke out by warning the public to be cautious. Because of very low case numbers, it would be much easier to track corona outbreaks in Germany at the moment and deal well with the delta variant, the CDU politician said Friday evening before a dinner with French President Emmanuel Macron in Berlin. “But I can only say: we cannot pretend that Corona is over. Even if on such a summer evening, the feeling is that there is nothing more.” Also because there is a large proportion of unvaccinated people who do not have full protection “I think caution is still necessary so that we have a summer after all of many freedoms, but not yet of all freedoms,” the chancellor said.(Stuttgarter Nachrichten, June 20)
Dax corporations want to continue to rely more on remote working in the future
According to a survey, the majority of the 30 corporations listed in the German Stock Index plan to expand their use of remote working, even after the pandemic. This was reported by Funke Mediengruppe, citing a survey of the 30 DAX-listed corporations. In the survey, 22 companies expressed their interest in increasing the number of mobile working days in the future. With the expiry of the home office obligation at the end of June, a dispute has flared up between unions and employers – also with a view to a possible legal regulation beyond the duration of the pandemic.(Funke Mediagruppe, June 21)
Charité tests use of tapeworm drug against Corona
Berlin’s Charité University Hospital is testing the use of a drug commonly used against tapeworms to treat corona infections. According to the university hospital, a clinical trial is currently investigating whether the tapeworm drug niclosamide proves effective against covid-19. “Niclosamide has shown the strongest effect in our cell culture studies and is also a drug that has been approved for tapeworm infections for years,” explains Marcel Müller of the Institute of Virology at Charité. It is also well tolerated at potentially effective doses, he adds. “We consider it the most promising of the four new drug candidates.” Participants are still being recruited for the study. ( Ntv, June 21)
42.3 million Germans have been vaccinated at least once
The German vaccination campaign is progressing – albeit with much smaller steps in the meantime. More than 31 percent of the population has now been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. This is according to figures from the Robert Koch Institute. According to them, 290,534 vaccine doses were administered on Sunday. On Saturday, there were 398,337 vaccine doses. On both days, the number of second vaccinations was significantly higher than the first vaccinations. Just over 42 million people (50.8 percent) were administered at least one vaccination. Among the states, Bremen recorded the highest proportion of first-time vaccinators at 57.5 percent. Nine other states have reached the 50 percent mark. Saxony brings up the rear with 45.3 percent. Saarland has the highest proportion of fully vaccinated residents at 37.2 percent. Brandenburg is at the bottom of the rankings with 28.6 percent.(Ntv, June 21)