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Health experts fear England could be an incubator for the Covid variant

London, UK-July 24: A long line of club participants waiting to enter the Nightclub in Heaven on July 24, 2021 in London, England.

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Scientists warned that the relaxation of the Covid-19 restriction in London — the United Kingdom is endangering the emergence of new, potentially more dangerous variants of the virus.

England lifted most of its last remaining restrictions on July 19, including compulsory masking and social distance. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland still have some restrictions.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously described deregulation as “irreversible.”

However, the resumption policy has been publicly criticized by a consortium of more than 1,200 scientists from around the world.

One concern is the possible consequences of unleashing society in a high infection rate and a partially vaccinated population, and how unlimited mixing under such circumstances will evolve the virus. It’s about shaping.

“When designing a large-scale experiment to create a more dangerous virus that can blast a vaccine, we will do what the UK is proposing,” said US virologist, ACCESS chair and president. Said Michael Haseltine. Health International, I told the news program Good Morning Britain On the so-called “free day”.

“Half of the population vaccinated during a pandemic epidemic allows the virus to learn how to evade the vaccine. That’s what I do, and the rest of the world Naturally, I am concerned. “

Every time a person is infected with Covid-19, there will be hundreds of thousands or even tens of millions of copies of the virus on the system. When a virus makes a copy of itself, it can make mistakes with the new copy and inadvertently benefit the virus.

Charlotte Holdcroft, a scientist working on the evolution of the virus at the University of Cambridge, called CNBC and said, “I’m rolling the dice every time someone gets infected.”

“In a large population with many infections, the dice are rolled more often. I’m worried about the population being infected by many at once. This is what many people around the world see. The reason is the UK “

During the week ending July 29, 204,669 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the UK, down 37% from the previous week.

A spokesman for the British government said the government’s view on the deregulation decision remained unchanged, referring to the Prime Minister’s comments on July 12. At the time, Johnson said delaying deregulation was a cold climate, “when the virus gained greater natural benefits and school returned.”

He warned: “This pandemic isn’t over. The coronavirus of this disease continues to pose a risk to you and your family.”

Houldcroft told CNBC that it is unclear how the coronavirus responds to “immunological pressure in many vaccinated people.”

“Vaccines are very powerful — they prevent new infections,” she said. “But they put a lot of pressure on the virus, so it would be beneficial for the virus to come up with a mutation that would better infect vaccinated people.”

Christina Pagel, director of UCL’s Clinical Operations Research Unit in London, told CNBC over the phone that there was a “significant risk” of the emergence of vaccine-resistant mutants in the United Kingdom after the government decided to relax regulations. rice field.

“But infections are increasing everywhere across Europe, the United States, and Canada. All of these high-income countries are in the same situation, and vaccine-resistant mutants can occur in any of them.” She said. Keep in mind that such varieties can “actually take off” in populated, well-vaccinated states and cities.

Travel risk

The BBC reported that the weekend after the deregulation was the busiest for British airlines and airports since the pandemic began. London’s Heathrow Airport expected 60,000 passengers to depart per day, while the capital Gatwick Airport said it expected 250 flights per day. In the midst of the crisis, the number of flights at Gatwick Airport plummeted to a minimum of 15 flights a day, according to the BBC.

Meanwhile, the British government announced on Wednesday that it would allow the resumption of international cruises from the UK on August 2. Passengers arriving from countries on the “Amber List” that have been fully vaccinated in Europe or the United States are exempt from quarantine upon arrival in the United Kingdom. From that day.

Pagel said it was “not a good idea” to have vaccinated people skip quarantine, as people vaccinated with the delta mutant can be very easily infected with the coronavirus. rice field.

“By definition, we’re worried about Covid, which can affect vaccinated people. I don’t think this summer’s travel policy will do anything about new variants.” She said. “Fortunately, we should expect. So far, there seems to be no completely vaccine-resistant mutant. Ultimately, whether or not such a mutant will occur is a random chance. . “

Covid-19 “Unfinished”

“These are very old creatures,” Haseltine said. “We are fighting tens to hundreds of millions of years of evolution in trying to understand and predict what will happen. These viruses have the ability to manipulate the immune system.”

Haseltine has so far cataloged at least 35 different ways Covid-19 can evade the human immune system, but the virus is “not done,” he said.

“It’s like a thief going into your house and turning off the fire alarm,” he said. “His only job is to take the goods out and go to the next house. The more barriers you put in, the smarter they are. We are optimistic that we are at the end of change. Not — I’m reasonable Make sure new variants are already on the market. “



Health experts fear England could be an incubator for the Covid variant

Source link Health experts fear England could be an incubator for the Covid variant

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