A new COVID-19 variant was identified among a group of hospital patients in Bavaria.
A new COVID-19 variant was identified among a group of hospital patients in the Bavarian ski town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, southeast Germany.
It was said to be different from the other new variant found originally in the UK, but doctors do not yet know if it is more infectious or severe.
“The mere fact that it’s a new variant doesn’t mean it’s more infectious,” said Frank Niederbühl, managing director of the Garmisch-Partenkirchen clinic where it was discovered.
Samples have been sent to the Charité university hospital in Berlin and are now reportedly being examined.
Garmisch-Partenkirchen clinic deputy medical director, Clemens Stockklausner said that they are still studying the samples and tried to reassure the public.
“We have to wait for the complete sequencing. We cannot say at all at the moment whether this (mutation) has any clinical relevance,” said Stockklausner.
German Health Minister Jens Spahn suggested implementing intensified testing of cross-border commuters to prevent new variants from entering the country.
The German government is expected to discuss a tightening of measures and an extension of the lockdown before it will expire at the end of the month amid rising cases in the EU.