BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel mentioned Thursday that Europe is “on skinny ice” in its battle in opposition to the coronavirus, because the extremely contagious delta variant threatens to undo progress made in lowering infections.
In what could also be her final authorities declaration to the German parliament, Merkel mentioned the additional response to the pandemic can be a predominant subject of dialogue amongst European Union leaders at a gathering in Brussels on Thursday.
She famous that the variety of COVID-19 instances within the 27-nation bloc proceed to say no, whereas vaccination charges climb.
“However though there may be cause to be hopeful, the pandemic is not over, specifically on the planet’s poor nations,” she mentioned. “However in Germany and Europe we’re additionally nonetheless shifting on skinny ice.”
“We have to stay vigilant,” Merkel added. “Specifically the newly arising variants, particularly now the delta variant, are a warning for us to proceed to watch out.”
EU well being officers predicted Wednesday that the delta variant will make up 90% of all instances throughout the bloc by the tip of August, displaying the necessity for as many individuals to be absolutely vaccinated as doable.
In Germany, the delta variant now makes up about 15% of latest instances, based on the nation’s illness management company.
The nation has pressed for EU nations to kind a joint place on quarantine for vacationers from areas the place variants of concern are notably prevalent. This consists of England, the place the delta variant — first detected in India — already makes up a majority of instances.