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Window of opportunity: Drosten: More contagious Corona variant needs to be nipped in the bud

Window of opportunity : Drosten: More contagious Corona variant needs to be nipped in the bud

Virologist Christian Drosten is very clear on this: Something has to be happen. Now! Later it won’t be possible to react well, by then it would be too late.

Virologist Christian Drosten believes there has been little spread in Germany so far of the more contagious Corona variant, which was first discovered in the United Kingdom.

He sees now a window of opportunity to nip the spread in this country in the bud, said the expert for coronaviruses from the Berlin Charité on Tuesday in the podcast "Coronavirus Update" on NDR-Info. "We have to do something now if we specifically want to still influence the germination of the mutant in Germany. You can't do it well later, then it's too late." Lockdown measures have already shown effects in the United Kingdom, he said.

Based on data now available, the virologist believes the variant is indeed more contagious than earlier forms. "We have the findings on the table. We are dealing with a mutant that is spreading faster. The quantitative extent of that, we actually have to discuss that again." Drosten estimates the variant is more contagious by a smaller percentage than initially thought - initially there was talk of 50 to 70 percent compared to earlier forms.

After a strong spread of certain Corona variants was recently observed abroad, the search for it is now also intensified in Germany. Drosten assumes that there are imported cases, especially over the Christmas period. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the B.1.1.7 variant discovered in Great Britain, for example, has so far been detected in 20 cases in six German states (as of Jan. 17, 00:00). Drosten said data was still being compiled, and more would be said about the situation in this country in the coming weeks.

Original text: (dpa)

Translation: Mareike Graepel