EUROPE is intensifying its investigations into Covid variants in light of increasing cases on the continent.
As the Christmas season approaches, many European countries have placed lockdown-style restrictions upon their citizens.
Experts believe that the new Covid wave spreading across the continent could be caused by a more subtle strain of coronavirus.
The virus could evolve due to the new cases and vaccinations.
Called “selection pressure”, it happens when increasing immunity in the population favours a new variant that can escape the body’s defences.
European countries are intensifying virus sequencing efforts in order to mitigate the risk, Dr Andrea Ammon of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said.
Asked if she is worried about a new variant emerging, Dr Ammon told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show: “With the high transmission ongoing right now, there is always the risk of a new variant, yes.
“So we are really monitoring very closely, we are supporting the countries in ramping up their sequencing efforts to make sure that if there is a variant, that it’s detected very early.”
Paolo Gentiloni, the EU’s commissioner for economics and taxation, said Europe should be mindful of a potential new variant in the region.
According to CNBC, he said: “It’s still the pandemic. We should be very cautious on possible new variants and we need to strengthen vaccination.”
Last week, headlines in Europe were made by a cluster of cases involving a new variant that has never been seen before.
French paper Le Telegramme reported that a new variant — called B.1.X or B.1.640 — had some mutations to the spike protein that scientists haven’t seen before.
Cyrille Cohen, an Israeli professor at Bar-Ilan University told The Jerusalem PostThe B.1.640 variant is most likely to have originated in Africa.
“I don’t want to frighten people,”He said. “There are just a few cases of B.1.640 now and it could very well be that in a month we could all forget about this variant.
“But it is an example of what could happen if there isn’t access to vaccines for everyone.
“This variant exemplifies that if you leave some of the world’s population without access to vaccines, then the virus will continue to multiply and it will lead to more variants.”
Protests broke out across a variety of countries, including the Netherlands, Switzerland, Croatia and Italy, due to sudden Covid restrictions, mandatory jabs, and vaccines. “passports”.
After 35,000 protestors gathered in Brussels, violence broke out in Brussels. In the Netherlands, water cannons were used for dispersal.
After people in Austria discovered that they would be reintroduced to a national lockdown starting Monday, new curbs were placed on unvaccinated Germans.
Both countries are moving towards mandatory vaccinations, which fuels rage.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Europe is the only place in the world where Covid-related death rates have increased over the past week.
It warned of half-a-million more deaths by February if no action is taken.
A majority of Western Europe’s population, 60 percent, is fully immunized against Covid. This includes 80% of Britons. However, the Eastern part of Europe has only half that number.
WHO reported that the UK, Germany, and Russia had the highest number of new cases last week.
Next stop: UK
The UK, however, is “already ahead”Professor Sir Andrew Pollard was one of the key figures behind the creation the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccin.
He said it was “unlikely”The UK will experience a similar rise to other parts of Europe. This tells th
He told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show: “We’ve actually had some spread (of the virus) going on since the summer, and so I think it’s unlikely that we’re going to see the very sharp rise in the next few months that’s just been seen.
“We’re already ahead of that with this particular virus, the Delta variant.”
Prof Pollard claimed that coronavirus still exists “a major global public health problem”However, it is the UK “the balance is shifting because of the vaccine programme that has been in place”.
Others who have been watching Europe’s unfolding events said the same. “may come to that”The UK.
Professor John Ashton, formerly regional director of public health for the North West of England, told Good Morning Britain on Friday: “There are still millions of people who are not double vaccinated in the UK.
“And that’s a problem because the virus is still circulating, and while the virus is circulating, there is the potential for more mutations.”
Linda Bauld is a professor of public health at Edinburgh University. She said that while the picture may not change, it remains. “uncertain”There are many factors that could help the UK avoid similar situations as in other countries.
She told Sky’s Trevor Phillips On Sunday programme: “We dealt with our Delta wave in the summer and early autumn. We’re still in it of course but not those big rises.
“And then the other features are around, unfortunately, because we’ve had high infections in the past, we’ve probably a bit more natural immunity in the population – as in immunity post-infection, particularly for younger groups who’ve not been eligible for vaccines.”
She also said that vaccine rollouts were slightly different because the gap between the first and second doses in many European countries was less than the UK.
However, she also mentioned that there is an element “grave concern actually in trying to determine whether there are differences in the situation in Europe, or whether it’s just a matter of time until this faces us here”.
Professor Bauld stated that winter can be avoided by taking up boosters and remaining cautious. “disaster”It will be a repeat of last year’s Christmas.
This week, there are bookings available for booster jabs in England for those over 40.
Sixteen-year-olds and 17-year olds will be able book their second jab beginning Monday.
The Health Secretary stated that the vaccine programme rather than immunity to infection is what protects the British people from the Covid-19 Winter Wave.
Sajid Javid claimed that the country is “firmly”Sticking to Plan A for the moment – ministers must “remain cautious, not complacent in any way” as virus panic sweeps across Europe.
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