BARCELONA – It was a bad end to a bad week with the Coronavirus in Europe. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced, Friday evening, that researchers have found “some evidence” that the recently discovered British variant of the Coronavirus, which was already known to be more contagious than the original strain, has led to an alarming increase in the number of cases and closures in That country, “may be associated with a higher death rate.” The chief scientific adviser to his government, Patrick Vallance, added a 30% rise in the death rate, revealing the advisory group’s assessment of new and emerging respiratory virus threats in that country. He added that there was still “a lot of uncertainty” about how dangerous this alternative would be.
In response to the news, Dr. Kavita Patel, medical contributor to Yahoo News, explained, “10 different studies with models show that [U.K.] The variant has a higher risk of death compared to the non-British variants, ”but emphasized that“ these are studies and models, and not necessarily clinical trials. ”She added that if the UK strain was in fact more lethal, then“ it becomes more urgent to get the vaccines as soon as possible. ” And that epidemiologists need to “understand more clearly the prevalence of the variable here in the United States.”
The variant, which is believed to be 70 percent more transmissible than the dominant strain in the United States, has been identified in at least 20 states among Americans with no recent history of foreign travel, indicating that it is spreading rapidly. The CDC says it could become the dominant strain in the United States by March.
The UK report particularly hit Spain, as new cases have surged since the holiday season ended, with the announcement on Friday of 44,357 new cases, smashing all previous daily records. Only the United States and Brazil have reported higher numbers of new cases. At least 5 per cent of cases in this Spanish “third wave” are believed to be the British variant, which the chief scientific advisor for the COVID virus to the Spanish government, Fernando Simon, believes will be the dominant strain in Spain within a few weeks.
It was initially thought that the dramatic rise was a reflection of the extended holiday season in Spain, which runs from December 24 to January 6, during which some restrictions, such as curfews and interregional travel, have been relaxed. However, with hospitals entering new highs, epidemiologists have realized that the UK variant, which first appeared in Spain a month ago, was evident in increasing numbers, and appears to be fueling the increasing number of cases, especially in the south of the country.
So far, Spain’s national government – which has imposed the wearing of the mask in all public places, including the streets, is refusing hours of restaurant operations and imposing a curfew across the country at 10 pm in October – is rejecting requests from regions of Spain to impose a curfew on 8 pm or to impose a full lockdown.
Indeed, in the land where tourism is an economic engine, the Spanish authorities recently announced that they hope that Spanish tourism will be back on track by late summer, at which time the prime minister believes that at least 70 percent of Spaniards will be vaccinated, the process that began last month. .
Patel stressed, “Despite this lively news, we still believe that vaccines can work against these variants and are incredibly important, especially for those at risk of dying from COVID.” But because vaccines may need to be modified to deal with the British and other new variants, Americans “need to triple our public health efforts” such as wearing masks and social distancing.
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