Schools close in Lombardy, Piedmont, Romagna and Calabria in Italy due to fresh #coronavirus variant outbreaks

In Lombardy, The president of the Lombardy Region said of his decision to order the immediate closure of schools. “this variant of the virus, which is now in the majority in Lombardy, is particularly aggressive, more rapid in spreading and also affects young people, who until a few months ago were almost unscathed”    More...

B.1.1.7 #coronavirus variant infections have the potential to cause substantial additional mortality

The mortality hazard ratio associated with infection with VOC-202012/1 [B.1.1.7] compared to infection with previously circulating variants is 1.64 in patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the community. In this comparatively low risk group, this represents an increase from 2.5 to 4.1 deaths per 1000 detected cases.    More...

#Denmark EPA: Contamination from the mink graves must be removed #coronavirus

Contamination from the mink graves must be removed

Substances from buried mink have been found under the mink graves, according to the Danish Environmental Protection Agency’s pollution investigation. The first step is now taken to collect and clean the pollution. The soil under the mink graves is being investigated in connection with the pollution investigation.    More...

New #coronavirus variant with #E484K, #N501Y & #P681H mutations found in the Philippines, designated PHL-B.1.1.28

Here, we describe the emergence of a new SARS-CoV-2 lineage, mainly from the Central Visayas region of the Philippines. This emergent variant is characterized by 13 lineage-defining mutations, including the co-occurrence of the E484K, N501Y, and P681H mutations at the spike protein region, as well as three additional radical amino acid replacements towards the C-terminal end of the said protein. A three-amino acid deletion at positions 141 to 143 (LGV141_143del) in the spike protein was likewise seen in a region preceding the 144Y deletion found in the B.1.1.7 variant. A single amino acid replacement, K2Q, at the N-terminus of ORF8 was also shared by all 33 samples sequenced.    More...

WHO Investigators scrap plans for interim report on probe of #coronavirus origins

WSJ:  “The World Health Organization team investigating the origins of Covid-19 is planning to scrap an interim report on its recent mission to China amid mounting tensions between Beijing and Washington over the investigation and an appeal from one international group of scientists for a new probe. A group of two dozen scientists is calling in an open letter on Thursday for a new international inquiry. They say the WHO team that last month completed a mission to Wuhan—the Chinese city where the first known cases were found—had insufficient access to adequately investigate possible sources of the new coronavirus, including whether it slipped from a laboratory.”    More...