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Coronavirus

Germany to Step Up Its Monitoring of Coronavirus Variants

January 18, 2021

BERLIN — Germany’s health minister says the country will step up its monitoring of coronavirus variants amid concern that some mutant version could spread faster or cause more serious illness.

Jens Spahn told reporters in Berlin on Monday that he is ordering laboratories to sequence the genome of 5% of positive samples, or up to 10% if case numbers fall.

Spahn noted that Britain, where one apparently more contagious variant was first detected last year, has a very strong surveillance network.

German officials have expressed worry about the sharp rise in cases seen in Britain and Ireland in recent weeks.

Germany’s disease control agency said there 7,141 newly confirmed cases and 214 deaths in the country over the past day, though numbers reported over the weekend are often incomplete.

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PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ Address to the Joint Session of the U.S. Congress

WASHINGOTN - The full text of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ speech to the Joint Session of the US Congress is as follows: Madam Speaker, Madam Vice President, Honorable Members of the United States Congress, Ladies and Gentlemen, There is no greater honor for the elected leader of the people who created democracy than to address the elected representatives of the people who founded their country on the Greek model and have promoted and defended democratic values ever since.

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