Germany discovers a brand new Covid variant amongst 35 hospital sufferers
There is snow in front of the entrance to the Garmisch-Partenkirchen hospital. A possibly new variant of the corona virus was discovered in the Garmisch-Partenkirchen hospital. Samples are currently being examined in the Charité hospital in Berlin, the hospital announced on Monday.
Image Alliance | Image Alliance | Getty Images
Germany is the youngest country to have discovered a new mutation in the coronavirus. A new variant was identified in a group of hospital patients in Bavaria.
Local news agencies reported for the first time on Monday that an unknown variant of the corona virus had been discovered in 35 patients in a hospital in the Bavarian ski town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in southeast Germany.
The modified virus was found in 35 of 73 newly infected people in the hospital, the Bavarian news agency BR24 reported on Monday. According to reports, samples are currently being examined at the Charité University Hospital in Berlin. CNBC reached out to the German Ministry of Health to confirm the reports.
Officials said the variant was different from recently discovered variants in the UK and South Africa.
The hospital's deputy medical director, Clemens Stockklausner, told a press conference on Monday that there was still no understanding of whether the mutation had made the virus more transmissible (as in the variants discovered in the UK and South Africa) or more deadly.
"At the moment we have discovered a small point mutation … and it is absolutely not clear whether it will be of clinical relevance," said Stockklausner. "We have to wait for the sequencing to be complete."
Neither the British nor the South African variants cause more deaths, although due to their ability to spread more easily, they have caused more infections, hospitalizations and, unfortunately, more deaths. In the UK and Ireland in particular, the mutated virus has spread rapidly, causing an increase in infections and causing some hospitals to face an influx of patients.
Information about the new variant found in Germany was published on the same day that the country's health minister, Jens Spahn, said that the current state of coronavirus sequencing in the country was insufficient and that the laboratories would be obliged (and compensated) Coronavirus samples used to monitor the virus to sequence mutations.
A handful of other countries that have detected coronavirus mutations, including the UK and South Africa, are known for their large-scale surveillance and genome sequencing of coronavirus samples.
Last week, Dr. Janosch Dahmen, doctor and German MP for the Greens, told CNBC: "We need a more precise crisis mode here in Germany to fight the pandemic, and I am very concerned that the number (of infections) will go far higher than we do can see in the UK and Ireland right now. "
The 16 German Prime Ministers will meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday to discuss whether the lockdown restrictions across the country, which are due to end soon, should be tightened or extended on January 31st.
The German infection rate is still an important problem. Another 11,369 cases per day were reported Tuesday by the health department, the Robert Koch Institute. This brings the total number of cases to just over 2 million. The death toll stands at 47,622.
Germany, like other European countries, endeavored to avoid the spread of the more infectious strains of the virus in the UK and South Africa.
Merkel reportedly told her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) lawmakers last week: "If we fail to stop this British virus, we will have ten times as many cases by Easter … W.e still need eight to ten weeks of tough measures, "reported the German daily Bild.
On Monday, Spahn insisted that the coronavirus mutation discovered in Great Britain should not be referred to as the "English variant".
"Just as we didn't talk about the & # 39; Chinese virus & # 39; last year, we shouldn't talk about the & # 39; English variant & # 39; now," said Spahn, reported Reuters.