A specialist highlighted that the variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus detected in September 2020 in the United Kingdom will be responsible for the new wave.
With more than 108,069,662 cases of Covid-19 accumulated since the beginning of the pandemic, the world is going through the second wave of infections with the particularity that there are more variants of the coronavirus, and that of the United Kingdom stands out for being aggressive.
Sharon Peacock, head of the UK’s Covid-19 Genomics consortium, said on Wednesday this week on a BBC podcast that the British strain of the new coronavirus has “swept the country” since it was detected in September 2020 in Kent, south of England.
For Peacock, the British strain “will sweep the world, in all probability” in the coming months until it becomes the main variant causing the increase in Covid-19 cases.
According to the BBC, the Kentish variant has already been identified in patients from 86 countries.
Peacock said his work on sequencing the SARS-CoV-2 genome will be necessary over the next 10 years to detect the next mutations of the coronavirus causing Covid-19, even after the pandemic is over.
“What is affecting us at this time is the transmissibility. Once we are in control of the virus, or it mutates until it stops causing the disease, then we can stop worrying,” said the specialist.
“But I think that, looking to the future, we are going to do this for years. We are going to continue doing it in 10 years, in my opinion,” added the scientist, who works in the consortium of laboratories and public medical centers in the United Kingdom dedicated to the analysis of 20,000 positive tests for Covid-19 per week.
The British variant of the virus that causes Covid-19 was named B.1,1.7 in the United Kingdom. Peacock stated that “there is a growing literature” that shows how the original strain evolved in an immunosuppressed patient.
“This virus is so different from everything else that was circulating that there are only two possible explanations: one is that it was introduced, the second explanation is very plausible, and that is that it was in a patient who had a simmering infection for many months and that virus had the opportunity to adapt and change over time, “he explained.
For several months, the British Government assured that the Kentish strain is 70% more contagious than the arrival from Asia, and even the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, even said that it was 30% more lethal. But Peacock agreed that “the jury is still out on that.”
“I don’t think the evidence is really strong. I think it’s still under investigation,” he added.
The other thing that remains to be seen is whether the vaccines that were administered to more than 10 million people in the United Kingdom will work for other variants of coronavirus.
Source: Minute One