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.