Angela Merkel: Europe 'on thin ice' amid delta virus variant rise

German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: PTI

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that Europe is on thin ice in its battle against the coronavirus, as the highly contagious delta variant threatens to undo progress made in reducing infections.

In what may be her last government declaration to the German parliament, Merkel said the further response to the pandemic would be a main topic of discussion among European Union leaders at a meeting in Brussels on Thursday.

She noted that the number of COVID-19 cases in the 27-nation bloc continue to decline, while vaccination rates climb.

But even though there is reason to be hopeful, the pandemic isn't over, in particular in the world's poor countries, she said. But in Germany and Europe we're also still moving on thin ice.

We need to remain vigilant, Merkel added. In particular the newly arising variants, especially now the delta variant, are a warning for us to continue to be careful.

EU health officials predicted Wednesday that the delta variant will make up 90% of all cases across the bloc by the end of August, showing the need for as many people to be fully vaccinated as possible.

In Germany, the delta variant now makes up about 15% of new cases, according to the country's disease control agency.

The country has pressed for EU countries to form a joint position on quarantine for travelers from areas where variants of concern are particularly prevalent. This includes England, where the delta variant first detected in India already makes up a majority of cases.


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel