Mutation of the Covid: recent data on the new strain from England

The recent information concerning the new strain of the virus is meant to be reassuring. This mutation of Covid-19, admittedly more virulent, would not cause a more serious form of the disease. As for vaccines, already in circulation and while the European vaccination campaign is due to begin this Sunday, they would not be less effective in the face of this new strain of the coronavirus. 

This mutation of the disease with its still unclear contours, which the researchers named “B.1.1.7 or VUI-202012/01” (for “Variant Under Investigation”, December 2020, variant 01) had resulted in a sort of quarantine from the United Kingdom. Many European countries had indeed temporarily closed their borders. Faced with these latest data, connections between England and France are again authorized, 

Prime Minister Jean Castex in fact let it be known on Tuesday evening, via a press release, that “the French”, “nationals of the European Area” and “British or third-country nationals who are habitually resident in France, in the ‘European Union or in the European Area, either must make essential trips “were allowed to return to France from Wednesday. 

This resumption of flows of people from the United Kingdom to France remains “limited”, however. Finally, “the movements of the categories of people concerned will be systematically subject to the obligation to have, before departure, the result of a negative test of less than 72 hours”.

The WHO was also wanted to be reassuring Monday, December 21, rejecting the idea of ​​a variant “out of control”, mentioned the day before by the British Minister of Health, Matt Hancock. Here is what we know today about this new strain of the coronavirus.

What do we know about the coronavirus mutation?

Astonishment gripped the whole world on Saturday, December 19, when the British authorities decided to reconfine London and the South-East of the country as a matter of urgency, with travel prohibited. In question, the spread of a variant of the Covid in England which concerns the scientific and health organizations of the country. 

British virologists believe that this mutation of the virus, called B.1.1.7, appeared in mid-September in London or in Kent. According to their estimates, the mutation would be the cause of 62% of the contaminations that occurred in London in December and 43% in the south-east, much more than in mid-November.

Another very similar, but presumably unrelated variant was observed around the same time in South Africa. This variant is at this stage only described as “a similar variant” to the B.1.1.7 strain by the South African Minister of Health Zwelini Mkhize, in a press release cited by Le Point. Nonetheless, on Wednesday 23 December, the United Kingdom sounded the alarm. 

“This new variant is of great concern, because it is more contagious and seems to have mutated more than the new variant which has been identified in the United Kingdom”, announced the Minister of Health Matt Hancock. Travel restrictions were, therefore “immediately” taken across the Channel.


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