March 6, 2021

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British numbers give hope: Variation B.1.1.7 does not seem invincible

British numbers are promising
Variation B.1.1.7 does not seem to be invincible

From the hand stop

Great Britain has soared by case numbers earlier this year. Variation B.1.1.7 is responsible for development. But eventually the number of cases drops – including those reserved for mutants. How to evaluate it? ntv.de asked.

Germany is concerned about the spread of the variation first discovered in Great Britain. In a random sample from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) with about 30,000 samples, P1.1.7 has already generated nearly six percent of cases in Germany. President Angela Merkel estimates that 20 percent of all infections are currently caused by mutations. The P.1.1.7 variant is considered the most contagious, with about 40 percent, according to a recent study. Fears are therefore being raised that easing German locking will increase the number of new cases. However, in the UK, where the virus was first discovered, the number of cases is now declining significantly.

Most recently, the United Kingdom recorded the lowest level with more than 14,000 new infections in two months. At the peak of the latest waves in early January, there were nearly 70,000 new cases a day. Nevertheless, the number of infections is still relatively high. Approximately 66.7 million people live in Great Britain – based on 7 day events (100,000 new infections are reported per week), the incidence of corona in Great Britain is currently twice as high as in Germany.

However, according to epidemiologist Timo Ulrich, the significant decline in recent epidemics in Great Britain “shows that locking works in Great Britain, and it also works against the new variant.” Ulrichs ntv.de said the lock only caused a decline in the original variant, but if not in the new variant, it would inevitably be noticed: the decline in the number of cases would be recognizable after a weakening, a “bump” speaking curve. “You see the opposite trend, but you don’t see it,” Ulrich says.

That too British Statistical Office ONS Data released a few days ago indicates a decline in virus variation in the UK. Accordingly, the last week of January saw a downward trend in events assigned to the original variant and to events owned by the new variant. “Locks in the UK seem to be stifling the spread of Govt-19, but apparently have had mixed success,” said Simon Clark, a biologist at the University of Reading, who, however, was particularly reluctant to comment on ONS numbers. The number of epidemics has decreased in the UK, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but remains stable in Wales. “In the east of the UK, infections are actually on the rise,” Clark warned.

“Controlling Variation”

At the same time, the new, more contagious variant B.1.1.7 is now widespread in Great Britain. “The new variant appears to be responsible for the majority of infections in the UK, and the rate at which it spreads is significant,” said James Naismith, a professor of biology at Oxford University. Archaeologist Ulrich stressed that the success of the lockout in Great Britain was evidence of the new, more contagious variant B.1.1.7 already under control – thanks to the measures already in place – such as the AHA + L rules and the contact restrictions to be obtained.

Could there be a decline in the number of cases due to the vaccination campaign in the now advanced UK? Experts have yet to find any evidence for this. “The vaccine campaign will not affect these numbers yet – the decline is due to locking up,” Naismith said. “However, incredible progress in the introduction of the vaccine should be celebrated because it will greatly reduce the number of serious diseases and deaths.”

In London, optimism is already growing in the face of advances: “We are coming up the hill in our fight against the corona virus,” Health Minister Matt Hancock announced on Monday. “The number of people in the hospital is still high, but it is declining. The number of deaths from this disease is also very high, but it is also declining.” However, Jonathan Van-Tom, vice president of the English Health Service, recently warned against overconfidence. Loosening of the lock should only happen gradually. When asked if foreigners could already plan another summer vacation abroad, he said: “I still can’t respond because we don’t have dates. It’s very soon.”

Decline in Ireland and Portugal

P.1.1.7 Great Britain is not the only country to be severely affected by the variance, which has recently seen a decline in the number of cases. Even in Ireland, which sometimes had the highest rate of infection in the world in terms of its population, the situation has calmed down somewhat. “Application measures apply to B.1.1.7.”, Luke O’Neill, an immunologist emphasized from Trinity College Dublin.

The drastic measures of locking that have been in place since mid-January seem to have had an effect on the more dangerous Portugal. For almost two weeks, all the numbers have been falling almost continuously and in some cases rapidly. Many experts believe that the closure of all schools, daycare centers and universities from January 22, which the left-wing government has long opposed, has made a decisive contribution. Health officials warn against negligence. “We have to maintain the lock for two more months,” said Balthasar Nunes of the state health agency INSA. In Ireland and Portugal, the ease of Christmas time has been blamed for the increase in numbers.

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