DUBLIN: The new COVID-19 strain, which originated in southern England, is threatening life. The Republic of Ireland has imposed a travel ban on Britain until early January for fear of the virus, which is thought to be more dangerous than the original strand of COVID-19.
Other European countries, including France, Germany and Italy, have banned travel to and from the UK. This is not the first time since the discovery of COVID-19 in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019 that the mutated virus has entered the scene.
It is estimated that the influenza virus typically mutates 50 times a year. At the same time, although thousands of new strains have been identified since the onset of the pandemic, the formation of COVID-19 has been very slow. Preliminary evidence suggests that while there is no indication that the current mutated virus that spreads in the UK is more dangerous than the original virus or that it will affect the efficacy of the vaccine, but the rapid spread is a cause for concern.
Public health experts in the UK have indicated that the new mutation virus is more acceptable in human cells. It increases the risk of rapid infection. The ECDC has estimated that the new strain could increase the R-number number to 0.4.
Countries around the world may be forced to revise public health strategies as more stringent regulations may be needed to prevent the spread of new mutations. The new virus will lead to an increase in people being hospitalized and more deaths.
However, health experts hope that the pandemic will end as long-running lockdown periods and vaccinations around the world work in parallel.