He The British government justified this Friday the veto of flights from South America and Portugal, in force since this morning, as a “preventive” mechanism with which to protect your vaccination plan against fear of a “worrying” emerging variant of coronavirus detected in Brazil.
From 4.00 GMT on UK has shielded entry to air services from 14 countries of South America, Portugal and Cape Verde. A ban from which the British and Irish residents of the British Isles – who must isolate themselves for ten days upon arrival – and carriers leaving Portugal carrying “essential” goods are exempt.
The norm is due to renewed fears among the scientific community of an allegedly more contagious mutation registered in Brazil, whose presence, according to the British Minister of Transport, Grant Shapps, “there is no record” to date in this country.
For its part, Wendy Barclay, head of the so-called National Virology Consortium -designed to analyze the emerging mutations of the coronavirus- revealed today to local media that in the United Kingdom, on the other hand, another different variant has been detected, but also from Brazil (where two have been found).
The virologist had to clarify that the variant of that country identified here is not “The worrying new Brazilian variant, from which several travelers in Japan were infected”.
The expert warned that the mutations of both variants from Brazil “they could impact in the way in which the antibodies of some people see the virus”, reason why it considered important to follow up the findings before their potential “important implications”.
In some of his various appearances today before the media, Shapps defended the latest restriction applied by the Executive: “We want to make sure that we do not fall before this obstacle,” he explained to the BBC.
He politician “tory” clarified in other statements to Sky News that, for now, scientists “are not saying that vaccines are not going to be effective against variant “but insisted on the need to adopt” precautions “as soon as possible.
“We are in this advanced step (of vaccination), we have come very far, we have vaccines in the arms of three million Britons, this is more than France, Spain, Germany and Italy combined, and we do not want to stumble at this moment, “he observed.
For some experts like epidemiologist Mike Tildesley, the latest air restriction is “late” although it will “minimize” the risk posed by the aforementioned “more transmissible” variant.
Tildesley also cautioned that while scientists “don’t think there is anything to worry about” As for the efficacy of vaccines, the fact that these mutations are more contagious means that citizens could “potentially develop more severe symptoms faster, which could cause more problems for the health service.”
DISCOURAGING NUMBER “R”
On the other hand, the R, reproductive number of the disease, now stands at UK between 1.2 and 1.3 – compared to last week, when it was between 1 and 1.4 -, which means that every ten infected will spread COVID-19 to between 12 and 13 people.
These data were disclosed today jointly by the Government Office of Science and the Scientific Group Advisor to the Government for Emergencies (SAGE, in English).
The UK continues to add chilling numbers of newly infected and killed by the COVID-19. The latest official data reported – last night – revealed another 1,248 deaths and 48,682 cases in 24 hours.
In counterpart, there are now almost 3 million British citizens those who have received the first dose of the vaccine, a hopeful fact in this unfortunate context.
He country has pinned its hopes to overcome the fight against the pandemic in its immunization program, which began on December 8, and with which it hopes to vaccinate the four most vulnerable groups – some 15 million people – before February 15.
To date, British Health vaccinates with two preparations, those developed by the tandem Pfizer / BioNTech and those of Oxford / AstraZeneca.