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Merkel Says Germany Should Expect More Virus Variants to Emerge

© REUTERS / ANNEGRET HILSEGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a news conference at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany May 27, 2021.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a news conference at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany May 27, 2021.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.06.2021
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BERLIN (Sputnik) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday that more coronavirus variants will likely emerge before the world is vaccinated as she called for a cautious reopening.

"Various variants may appear and we need to expect this as long as the rest of the world is not vaccinated," Merkel told the parliament when asked when COVID-19 restrictions would be lifted.

Merkel said the epidemic situation in Germany "promises a good summer" after the number of infections per 100,000 people in seven days had fallen nationwide to single digits.

"The epidemic situation is encouraging and allows for reopening. It is proportionate. But I stress that we must proceed with caution… Even though the third wave was broken decisively, the pandemic is not over. We’re still on thin ice," she warned.

Merkel said that nationwide vaccination remained key to defeating the virus amid a rise in cases linked to the more transmissible Delta variant. She said everyone would likely have a chance to receive a vaccine shot by 21 September.

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