New coronavirus restrictions are needed to fight the mutant strain of Covid-19, experts warn.
Scientists say people need to learn to “adapt” to a new way of life that includes long-term use of masks and covers and maintaining safe social interaction.
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The British are currently on a third national lockdown to stop the spread of Covid-19 credit: London News Picture
Experts in evolution, virology and infectious diseases at the University of East Anglia (UAE) and the Earlham Institute and the University of Minnesota say more vigorous action is needed now to control this spread.
While they highlighted that the government is trying to prevent an “uncertain balance” in the economy and stop further losses – they said it was important for them to take action now to stop this line of more mutant alternatives.
They warned that discoveries in emerging and existing strains such as the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil could threaten the effectiveness of vaccines.
Virulence professor Cock van Osterhat, Neil Hall, Hinh Lai, and its editor-in-chief, Professor Kevin Tyler, wrote in an editorial in the journal that the rules need to be followed.
They said: “Continuing public health efforts to encourage vaccination as well as the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as proper masking and maintaining safe social interaction is crucial.
“Humanity is facing a new reality. The faster we adapt, the better our long-term prospects. We must now stop the evolution and spread of more viral infections.
“Therefore, we support public health policies with our public health system, our own well-being and strict control measures to protect our future.”
Although experts said they would support further restrictions, they did not say how many more would go.
They further warned that pets, such as cats and dogs, should also be vaccinated because infection from pets continues to be a “public health risk”.
They added: “Some pet species may be vaccinated … may be necessary to prevent the spread of infection.”
However, they added that cats and dogs could contract the Covid-19, but there was no evidence that they could deliver it to humans.
Looking at the impact of previous lockdowns and viruses on them, experts said that economic stimulus packages in some countries have further increased the rate of person-to-person transmission.
Because of this, the virus spread at a faster rate than before in the early winter, they explained:
The SEZ revealed on Friday that the R rate could be as low as 0.6 in some parts of the UK.
And the rate – which represents the number of times an infected person will pass the covid – is now between 0.8 and 1.
It was estimated to be between 1.2 and 1.3 nationally last week, while the growth rate also said the outbreak was going to get worse.
The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies reported today that the rate in the English region is now below 1 with each decrease compared to last week.
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The R rate could be less than 0.6 east of England, it could drop to 0.7 for London and the Southeast.
When the R rate is below 1, it means the infection is less and the epidemic is shrinking – but larger than this number means it is on the rise.
The last breeding rate in the UK was below 1 December on 11 December and it peaked fifteen years ago when the range was between 1 and 1.4.
Experts added that the higher the R rate, the more the virus can develop and be able to infect people over a longer period of time.
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