For RKI boss Wieler, the question is not whether the delta variant will reach Germany, but when that will be the case.
Elsewhere, the mutation is already causing the number of infections to rise sharply.
Berlin (dpa) - The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has warned against gambling successes in fighting pandemics.
The more contagious Delta variant, which has been circulating at a low level (around six percent) in Germany so far, could spread the virus again, said RKI President Lothar Wieler in Berlin.
It is not the question of whether Delta dominates the infection rate in Germany, but when, he added.
However, freedoms that have been regained could be preserved, especially through vaccination, wearing masks indoors and keeping a distance.
If there is a lack of caution, however, the virus can mainly affect unvaccinated people and those who have only been vaccinated.
“We just can't risk that,” said Wieler.
Half of Germans vaccinated once
According to Jens Spahn, there are fewer and fewer of them.
According to the Federal Minister of Health, every second German citizen has now received at least one corona vaccination.
As of today, 41.5 million people or 50.1 percent of the total population received a first dose, as the CDU politician announced in Berlin.
Accordingly, 29.6 percent of the population are fully vaccinated with the second syringe, which is usually necessary.
Doctors are also concerned about the delta variant of the coronavirus, which is considered particularly infectious.
The chairman of the World Medical Association, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, raised the question of whether the current corona easing was not going too far.
The chairman of the conference of health ministers, Klaus Holetschek (CSU), advised “the utmost vigilance”.
The SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach is particularly concerned about unvaccinated children.
The head of the Chancellery, Helge Braun, continues to urge caution.
“The big task is to prevent the even more contagious delta variant from spreading quickly in Germany.
But it will spread, ”said the CDU politician to the editorial network Germany (RND / Friday).
“We have to be careful until everyone has a vaccination offer.
This is part of being fair to those people who have not yet been vaccinated because they have not been in a priority group and have not yet had the opportunity to be vaccinated, ”said Braun.
The vaccination rate achieved will determine whether the delta variant or another one will lead to a larger wave of infection in autumn.
Negative example of Great Britain and Lisbon
In Great Britain, the Delta variant discovered in India is spreading rapidly and, despite the high vaccination rate, is significantly increasing the number of new infections. Further easing that had already been planned has been postponed. This virus variant is still not very common in Germany, but its proportion is increasing. According to the latest report by the Robert Koch Institute, it was 6.2 percent in calendar week 22 (May 31 to June 6). In the previous week it was 3.7 percent.
In Lisbon, too, the delta variant is causing a worrying increase in corona infection cases. Portugal's capital will therefore be sealed off for around two and a half days, said Presidential Minister Mariana Vieira da Silva. "It is not easy to take such measures, but we thought they were essential so that the current situation in Lisbon does not spread to the whole country," she said.
From afternoon (1600 CEST) to Monday morning (0600 CEST), the 2.8 million residents of the Portuguese capital are only allowed to leave the greater Lisbon area for good reason, as the government announced on Thursday.
Foreigners will only be allowed to enter in exceptional cases.
With 928 new infections within 24 hours, Lisbon recorded its highest value since February 19 on Thursday.
That was around 75 percent of all cases registered in Portugal (1233).
World Medical Association warns of spread in Germany
World Medical Association boss Montgomery expects that the Delta variant in Germany will spread even faster than the previous modifications. "The tricky thing about this variant is that infected people very quickly have a very high viral load in the throat and can thus infect others before they even notice that they are infected," said Montgomery to the newspapers of the Funke media group. He warned that FFP2 masks should still be worn in public transport, in shops and other indoor areas. Countries should check whether the announced easing did not go too far. “They should also have the political stature to reverse the easing that has been announced if the number of infections due to the delta variant should rise again. As the UK Government has now done ",stressed the doctor.
Montgomery also warned not to repeat the mistake made last summer. In 2020, the re-entry of the virus by return travelers was underestimated, and a new wave followed in autumn. "This danger now exists again when many as yet unvaccinated tourists return to Germany from party vacations all over Europe."
"We have to monitor the proportion of the Delta variant in the new infections very closely," said Ute Teichert, chairwoman of the Federal Association of Doctors in the Public Health Service, the Funke newspapers.
The head of the association of medical officers also complained that the workforce in the health departments was still making slow progress.
By the end of the year, 1,500 new positions for medical specialists are to be created at the health authorities.
Most of these positions have not yet been filled.
"Do not underestimate the Delta virus variant"
The Bavarian Health Minister Holetschek also warned that the Delta virus variant should not be underestimated. "Their occurrence and their high degree of infection show us that we have not yet defeated Corona despite noticeably falling incidence values," Holetschek told the "Rheinische Post". “We still need the utmost vigilance. Caution and prudence must continue to determine action, ”emphasized the chairman of the conference of health ministers.
The SPD health expert Lauterbach assumes that the Delta variant will play the dominant role in Germany in autumn because it is so much more contagious.
He hoped that this would not become a big problem, of all things, for the children who were not vaccinated, Lauterbach said in the ARD “Tagesthemen”.
"The vaccinated will have no problems with the Delta variant," emphasized the SPD politician.
This virus variant does not compete with the vaccines used.
The current RKI numbers
The health authorities in Germany reported 1,076 new corona infections to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) within one day. This is evident from the numbers from Friday morning, which reflect the status of the RKI dashboard at 4:52 a.m., subsequent changes or additions to the RKI are possible. For comparison: a week ago the value was 2440 infections. According to the information, 91 new deaths were recorded across Germany within 24 hours. A week ago there were 102 dead. The total number of people who died with or with the involvement of a proven infection with Sars-CoV-2 is now given as 90,270.
The RKI gave the seven-day incidence on Friday morning as nationwide 10.3 (previous day: 11.6; previous week: 18.6).
The institute has counted 3,720,031 detected infections with Sars-CoV-2 since the beginning of the pandemic.
The actual total number is likely to be significantly higher, however, since many infections are not recognized.
The RKI stated the number of those who had recovered at 3,598 100.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210618-99-41224 / 7
The delta variant of the coronavirus is particularly contagious.
© Patrick Pleul