According to health experts through mutation, viruses continuously alter, and new variants of a virus are anticipated to occur over time. Fresh variants often appear and vanish. Often, new strains appear and begin to infect individuals. During this pandemic, multiple strains of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented in the United States and globally. Recent reports indicate that the increasing number of cases in London are caused by the new variant of Coronavirus and according to UK’s Health Secretary, the new variant is out of control!
How dangerous is the new variant?
In particular, studies indicate that the current strain is around 50% more transmissible than previous variants of SARS-CoV-2, the COVID-19-causing virus. But there is no proof that the variant causes more serious illnesses than previous versions. And scientists do not know why this version may be more transmissible. The variant can more readily infect human cells. And within an individual, it can generate more copies of itself. It has changed the way it enters the cells in our body leaving younger people at high risk.
How the world is responding to the new variant?
The UK announced the strictest lockdown canceling all Christmas plans. Earlier this month, more than 40 countries banned all UK arrivals. Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Kuwait have gone even further, totally closing their borders for a week. Japan followed suit on Saturday, banning almost everyone’s entry into the country before the end of January.
It is high time people took protective steps even more diligently: avoiding big gatherings. Masks, physical distancing, and hand washing. Also, the vaccine needs to be getting out at a very high rate around the world because right now, with this new version, scientists believe the vaccine will still be safe.
Is 2020 a year where the virus is only warming up? It is very important to take the virus seriously, work together, and not to make the same mistake.
Tahani Tahmid Elma