BERLIN, July 25 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff fears that the number of new coronavirus cases will skyrocket in the coming weeks and could reach 100,000 a day by the end of September, causing big problems for many companies, he said. Bild am Sonntag weekly.
After more than two months of steadily declining, cases have increased in Europe’s largest economy since early July, mainly due to the spread of the more infectious Delta variant.
Merkel’s chief of staff, Helge Braun, told Bild am Sonntag that cases are increasing by 60% per week, even though nearly half of the population has been fully vaccinated.
“If the Delta variant were to continue to spread at this rate and we didn’t fight it with a very high vaccination rate or a change in behavior, we would have an incidence of 850 (per 100,000 people) in just nine weeks.” , did he declare. noted.
“That would equate to 100,000 new infections a day,” he said, adding that the effect would be huge as so many people would have to be quarantined.
“The impact on the work processes in the factories would be enormous. We are already seeing this in the UK, ”he said.
The number of cases rose by 1,387 in the last day to 3.76 million, the Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases said Sunday, with the 7-day incidence reaching 13.8 per 100,000 people.
Braun urged the Germans to get vaccinated. About 60% of the 83 million Germans have received a first injection and about 48% are fully vaccinated.
While Germany has made it clear that it will not force people to be vaccinated, Braun said those who refuse will face certain restrictions.
“This could mean that some things such as restaurant, movie theater and stadium tours would not be possible for unvaccinated test persons because the residual risk is too high,” he said, adding however that a full locking would probably not be necessary.
Some 91,524 people have died from COVID-19-related causes in Germany.
Reporting by Madeline Chambers Editing by Mark Potter
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