UK, on ​​the brink of new coronavirus wave due to Indian variant, but with doors open in Spain


Posted: Monday May 31, 2021 12:36 PM

Spain opens to the UK with virtually no restrictions, without asking for PCR testing or quarantine. An openness of body and soul that the Executive has validated to start saving the tourist season, but whose full implementation remains in question.

Today, the Indian variant, at risk due to its high transmissibility, is already present in 75% of new cases, according to data released this week by the Department of Health, a mutation already predominant in the UK.

What appeal experts, like Rafael Bengoa, specialist in health systems and former director of the WHO, who warned this Sunday in El Objective that Spain should “reconsider certain measures”.

“It looks like we can already make some decisions that need to be reconsidered. For example, invite all English without PCR. The Indian variant dominated Scotland and Ireland in just a month and a half, and I don’t know why this cannot be done. reconsider, “said the expert. Thus, he fears an increase in infections due to the foreseeable arrival of tourists for the summer season.

But while there are no restrictions for the British, since early May, travelers from India must self-quarantine before the variant.

A country “on the brink” of a new wave

The perception from the outside is that the UK is on the verge of a contagion collapse. But it is also from the inside: in this sense, the microbiologist Ravi Gupta, one of the advisers of the British government, warned on Monday that the United Kingdom is “on the verge” of a new wave of cases .

So, in statements to BBC Radio 4, Gupta points out that although the total number of new infections is relatively low, in part because of the vaccination program, positive cases are increasing “exponentially” and “at least all three quarters of them are new variant “.

For this reason, the adviser is in favor of rethinking Johnson’s entire de-escalation plan, scheduled for June 22 and for which some of the most symbolic measures would end, such as wearing a mask or respecting social distancing. “Looking at the costs and benefits of what would happen if we were wrong, I think he is clearly opting for a postponement,” Gupta concluded, stressing that there is still room to correct.

And faced with the opening of Spain, the caution of other countries of the Union, such as Germany or France, which prohibits non-essential travel with its neighbors. In the first case, Angela Merkel’s government chose to classify the UK as an “area of ​​varying concern”. In the second case, the French executive asks passengers from Monday to provide “compelling reasons” before crossing the borders. And it goes further: Those who can make the trip must present a negative coronavirus test before departure and remain in quarantine for seven days upon arrival.

A new variant detected

To these problems with the strains that the United Kingdom is experiencing, a new one is added: last Thursday the authorities recorded a new variant originating in Thailand.

According to national media, such as the Daily Mirror, this variant was first detected in Thailand following a person who had traveled from Egypt, and it tested positive in quarantine. However, to date, there is no evidence that this mutation, called C.36.3, causes more serious disease or makes existing vaccines less effective, authorities say.

According to the latest data, there are already more than 100 cases of this type of strain, the classification of which remains interesting for lack of information. And, in the absence of more data, authorities are also alerted to another strain: the so-called Vietnamese, a mixture of the British variant and the Indian variant, which has infected nearly 3,600 people in the country. Asian and has previously been associated with higher transmissibility.

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