Virologist: Corona measures against mutation less effective

Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU).

Michael Kappeler / picture alliance via Getty Images)

The virologist and bioinformatician Rolf Arpweiler warned the federal and state governments of the effects of the corona mutation B.1.1.7, first discovered in Great Britain, in Germany at the beginning of the week.

This emerges from a presentation by the Director of the European Bioinformatics Institute Cambridge in Great Britain, which has. In it, Apweiler showed Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the Prime Minister how quickly B.1.1.7 spread in Great Britain – and how difficult it is to stem this spread again.

Apweiler first showed how the virus mutation spread in the UK in November. The country was in a moderate lockdown until the beginning of December, in which restaurants were closed but schools and daycare centers remained open. According to Apweiler’s data, the spread of the previously known Corona variants in the facilities decreased by almost 50 percent from the beginning of November to the beginning of December. The spread of B.1.1.7 increased three to five times – largely unnoticed.

When the British lifted the lockdown in December, the mutated corona virus spread “explosively” in the country, according to Apweiler. In December, B.1.1.7 spread six to eight times as fast as the earlier Corona variants.

Corona mutation shows up to eight times more cases than previous variations

Since the first week of January there has been a tough lockdown in Great Britain: restaurants and schools are closed, the number of permitted contacts has been restricted, as has the range of movement for people. According to Apweiler, this will mean a decrease in the conventional Corona variant by 30 to 40 percent per week. However, the spread of B.1.1.7 will only decrease by 10 to 20 percent per week.

This means: lockdown measures are less effective against the corona mutation. Because this is significantly more contagious than the previous variations of the virus, it takes longer and harder measures to contain it.

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“The data from the last few months show that B.1.1.7 generates 6-8 times more cases per month than other variants,” Apweiler wrote in his presentation. The bioinformatician and virologist therefore called for a “sharp lockdown (school closings, home office compulsory) in order to reduce the number of infections quickly”. In addition, vaccination should be carried out in Germany “as quickly and as much as possible”.


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