Yesterday was a year that was officially declared the first death by COVID-19. The world continues to fight unequally against a virus that has already undergone several mutations and continues to claim thousands of victims worldwide.
The European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) recently warned that this new variant may be uncontrollable.
New variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is up to 70% more contagious
ECDC fears that the new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which appeared in the UK, and which is up to 70% more contagious, will be difficult to control, calling for the adoption of "tight measures" in Europe.
In a report released last December, when the discovery of this new strain, ECDC asked the countries of the European Union (EU) for “timely efforts” to control it, particularly during the year-end festivities, as this variant could become dominant in the European space. However, several countries have not followed this path, including Portugal.
Pasi Penttinen, leading ECDC expert, told Lusa that…
… Our fear has only become greater. I think it will be very difficult to contain this new variant of the virus. We know that the old virus is already difficult to control and that tight measures are needed to control it and this new variant is even easier to spread
The official also states that this “concern” is due to the fact that the new strain is more transmissible by up to 70%.
Two of the countries with the most cases of the new variant, so far, are Ireland and Denmark, where the new strain “spread quickly”, with high local transmission and not only imported, according to the expert.
In the report published on December 20, before Christmas, ECDC had warned that "if the increase in family and social gatherings" is not reduced and that "if non-essential travel is not reduced or avoided completely" this could lead to "The variant replaces the variants in circulation in much of the EU and the European Economic Area".
According to the official, the new variant could also lead to changes in the objectives for the so-called group immunity through vaccination.
The level of group immunity to a virus depends on how transmissible it is: if it is the old virus, the estimate is that between 60% to 70% of the entire population will have to be vaccinated to not give opportunities for transmission to the virus, but this could change with the new variants
Remember that the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention has the mission of helping European countries to respond to disease outbreaks.