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Merkel, German top statesmen discuss new steps to combat Covid-19

Source : 112 Ukraine

The meeting was convened immediately after the new strain of coronavirus was detected in Bavaria
20:45, 19 January 2021

New strains of Covid-19
112 Agency

Germany considers new quarantine restrictions, as the doctors detected a new strain of Covid-19 in Bavaria. Chancellor Angela Merkel and other top-rank officials gathered on Tuesday afternoon to discuss these matters and decide what to do in the near future to cut the spread of the disease.

According to DW, the most expected move is the extension of the current lockdown until February 15. "Other issues being discussed include a rule to require employers to allow staff to work from home if that is feasible, and a requirement to wear FFP2-standard masks in shops and on public transport. The tighter mask-wearing rule was already introduced in the southern state of Bavaria at the start of the week", reads the message.  

Currently, schools, bars, restaurants, and shops (except pharmacies and grocery stores) are closed. Experts advise that the government take even tougher restrictions - the sooner, the better. "Rolf Apweiler, director of the European Bioinformatics Institute in Cambridge warned that the new, highly infectious UK strain, called B117, was responsible for six to eight times as many cases per month than the conventional virus. He called for a "sharp lockdown," a rapid vaccination program and widespread gene sequencing to detect variants of the virus", DW wrote. 

Related: Global inequality in Covid-19 vaccine distribution to lead to more virus mutations

The new strain of coronavirus was detected in Bavarian hospitals this week. The doctors are now investigating how much more damage could it do compared with conventional SARS-CoV-2.

Related: New Covid-19 strain observed in Germany; it differs from other variants

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