A more infectious version of the new type of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), B.1.1.7, first identified in the UK, has begun to spread in Germany, the head of the virology institute at the Charité University Clinic in Berlin said on Friday in the German capital.
Christian Drosten, one of the most respected German epidemiological experts, said in a briefing with government and public health leaders that, according to initial research, B.1.1.7 probably arrived in the country during the pre-Christmas period and has become more widespread in recent weeks.
Thus, it is no longer possible to identify highly infected or B.1.1.7-free areas. The new mutation appears randomly in different parts of the country and began to form so-called clusters, points of thickening, local chains of infection.
It is not yet known exactly how much the new virus variant is more contagious than the dominant variants so far. The first British analyzes suggested that the so-called reproduction rate (R) could be 50 to 70 per cent higher, showing how many people are infected by the infected person on average.
Recent research based on a broader database has yielded different results, suggesting an increase in SARS-CoV-2 R of about 22 and 35 percent over the previous dominant variants through the new mutation.
This is not to say that the B.1.1.7 mutation should be taken less seriously. On the contrary, the new research data are no longer preliminary test results, but “unfortunately facts”, indicating that a “guaranteed faster-spreading virus” needs to be protected, Christian Drosten explained.
He stressed that since the spread of the new version of the virus has just begun and the points of thickening can be noticed for the time being, it can still be prevented from gaining momentum and leading to a third wave of epidemics. However, this requires consistent adherence to restrictions to reduce the number of contacts at risk of infection, with a national closure in mid-February freezing most areas of social and economic life.
The head of the Charité was also asked about an interview published in the news magazine Der Spiegel on Friday, in which he said that after the closure, the number of new infections identified per day could rise to hundreds of thousands in the spring or summer. Christian Drosten underlined that this is a very possible “scenario” and that its realization can only be avoided by reducing the number of new infections as much as possible by the end of the short circuit and keeping the reproduction rate as low as 0.7. It may be too early to ease the austerity, which could cause the number of new infections to rise to almost unimaginably high levels, in the worst case hundreds of thousands, in intensive care units, intensive care units to fill up and many to die again, the virologist said, pointing out last summer. In Spain, where it didn’t help either, the climate is much warmer than in Germany.
According to data from the Robert Koch National Institute of Public Health (RKI) on Friday, 17,862 infections have been tested in Germany in the last 24 hours. This is almost five thousand less than the 22,368 a week earlier.
Source: Portfolio.hu – Gazdaság by www.portfolio.hu.
*The article has been translated based on the content of Portfolio.hu – Gazdaság by www.portfolio.hu. If there is any problem regarding the content, copyright, please leave a report below the article. We will try to process as quickly as possible to protect the rights of the author. Thank you very much!
*We just want readers to access information more quickly and easily with other multilingual content, instead of information only available in a certain language.
*We always respect the copyright of the content of the author and always include the original link of the source article.If the author disagrees, just leave the report below the article, the article will be edited or deleted at the request of the author. Thanks very much! Best regards!