The State Health Office collects these numbers on a random basis or checks on suspicion whether there is an infection with the variant. The first cases of the mutation became known in Lower Saxony in May. The mutation, discovered for the first time in India, is also on the advance nationwide: The absolute number of delta cases has increased since the 21st reporting week, from around 270 to around 470 in the 23rd reporting week.
Behrens: “Increase the vaccination rate”
According to experts, this mutation of the coronavirus is considered to be transferable faster. Lower Saxony’s health minister Daniela Behrens told the NDR that the Delta variant was spreading much faster in Lower Saxony than its predecessor and called the increase “worrying”. It is therefore important to increase the vaccination rate quickly, because it has been shown that in people, even if they only had the first vaccination, the disease progression is less severe.
Variants Beta and Gamma are very inconspicuous
According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the current distribution of the variants in Germany shows that it can be expected that Delta will prevail over the other variants. At present, the variant alpha (B.1.1.7) discovered in Great Britain still dominates the infection process. However, after weeks with values of 90 percent, the proportion of positive cases in the sample has now shrunk to 74 percent. The proportions of the equally worrying variants Beta (discovered in South Africa) and Gamma (Brazil) are, as before, lower and less conspicuous.
Delta infections apparently mainly brought in through travel
According to information from NDR Lower Saxony, many infections with the delta variant are related to travel. The variant is mainly introduced. The 125 cases in Lower Saxony are spread across the country, there are no “hotspots,” as a spokesman for the Ministry of Health said. But travelers should take a close look at their destinations. For example, anyone traveling to Great Britain has to be in quarantine for two weeks after their return.
Virologist: PCR tests for return travelers
Meanwhile, the Oldenburg virologist Axel Hamprecht demanded – with a view to the holiday season – PCR tests for travelers returning. “The rapid antigen tests do not bring us enough at the current stage of the pandemic,” said the Oldenburg scientist “Nordwest-Zeitung” (Friday). A PCR test suggests earlier, is more reliable and brings more clarity about possible cases of corona infection. “We should delay the spread as much as possible in order to gain time to vaccinate,” the virologist continued.