We predicted here and here that we would see a fresh Covid wave after October 19th, but even we didn’t expect Europe to ignite into a raging inferno within a couple of days. It is beginning to look like Europe may be the epicentre of the biggest global Covid wave yet this coming winter.
Morocco today banned flights to the UK, Germany and the Netherlands in response to the growing infection numbers.
What will happen with North America? It’s just coming out of a fairly major wave that peaked in September 2021. We should know within two weeks whether it has been spared a full-blown winter wave, but we doubt it. Relaxations in international travel over the summer will almost certainly mean a spillover from Europe to the US and Canada, which is exactly what happened in March 2020.
“There are more than 200 coronavirus cases traceable to St. Petersburg across the country – THL director urges returnees from St. Petersburg to go for corona tests instead of work”
Most of the coronary infections brought by St. Petersburg travellers are in the Helsinki metropolitan area. The likelihood that the infections are due to a susceptible delta transformation is high.
YLE.fi report (in Finnish)
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has said that revaccination against coronavirus in the capital will take place with the Sputnik Light vaccine, which is also planned to be used to vaccinate labor migrants.
“It is vitally important to start revaccination now. Therefore, we will work with the government so that they quickly make a decision on the timing and technology. Revaccination will be the first component of the vaccine. If there was Sputnik, then the first component of Sputnik. There are no other options yet.” –
He said that the first component of Sputnik Light is planned to begin vaccination of labor migrants working in Moscow.
“Now the production of Sputnik Light has begun. In fact, this is the first component of the classic Sputnik . Most likely, we will receive permission to use it to vaccinate migrants,” Sobyanin wrote. He added that “according to our calculations, this will happen in early July, maybe even earlier.”
The Russian Ministry of Health clarified that Sputnik V and Sputnik Light are suitable for revaccination.
Through routine scanning of variation in Delta, a small number of sequences were detected which had acquired the spike protein mutation K417N. Information suggests that there are at least 2 separate clades of Delta with K417N. One clade is large and internationally distributed with PANGO lineage designation AY.1. A second clade found in sequences uploaded to GISAID from the USA, now designated AY.2.
As of 16 June 2021, 161 genomes of Delta-AY.1 have been identified on GISAID. from Canada (1), India (8), Japan (15), Nepal (3), Poland (9), Portugal (22), Russia (1), Switzerland (18), Turkey (1), USA (83).
There are currently 38 cases of Delta-AY.1 in England (36 confirmed sequencing and 2 probable genotyping). Cases have been detected in 6 different regions in England. Delta-AY.2 has not been detected in England.
UK Variants of Concern Technical Briefing 15 (PDF download)
According to Bani Jolly of the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, the phylogeny of Delta has two separate clades. While AY.1 is found in a few countries including the UK, India and Nepal, the other clade (AY.2), is largely from the sequences from California (USA).
“The split between the two clades seems to be based on two spike mutations — A222V and T95I. While all sequences in the California cluster share spike A222V, all sequences in the larger international cluster share spike T95I,” Jolly tweeted.
Stating that AY.1 has arisen independently a number of times and could be more prevalent than observed in countries with limited genomic surveillance, she tweeted that given that Delta is a variant of concern, it is important to take note of any sub-lineages that may emerge.
Russian newspapers are still referring to a new “Moscow” strain of Sars-CoV-2, however it seems that the strain may simply be Delta (B.1.617.2).
“A modified Indian [Delta] strain of coronavirus was found in Moscow. This was announced by the head of the Gamaleya Center, Alexander Gintsburg”.
“В Москве нашли измененный индийский штамм коронавируса. Об этом сообщил глава центра имени Гамалеи Александр Гинцбург.” Lenta .ru
But an Interfax report states that “Almost 90% of residents of the capital [Moscow] with coronavirus have an Indian [Delta] strain of the disease, said Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin.
“The latest data that we received is that 89.3% have contracted a mutated coronavirus, the so-called ‘Delta’ is an Indian strain,” the mayor said in an interview with Channel One.
Почти у 90% заболевших коронавирусом жителей столицы выявлен индийский штамм заболевания, сообщил мэр Москвы Сергей Собянин.
“Последние данные, которые мы получили, – 89,3% заболели коронавирусом мутированным, так называемая “дельта” – это индийский штамм”, – сказал мэр в интервью Первому каналу.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said that this strain spreads faster and is also more aggressive than others. According to the mayor, in order to resist this disease, the level of antibodies in humans must be twice as high as necessary for the “Wuhan” variant of the coronavirus. “In fact, we are starting to go through this story anew and with more serious consequences.”
Moscow has documented 6,805 new COVID-19 cases on June 15. A total of 1,705 people have been hospitalized over the past day. There are 468 people hooked up to ventilators currently, and 71 patients have died in the past 24 hours.
Denis Protsenko, the head of Moscow’s top coronavirus hospital, has revealed that his facility is being hit harder than ever before, with the number of patients on ventilators now beating the record for any other time during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This is a new illness with new scenarios. We see that the incubation period has become shorter: before, it lasted seven to nine days, and now it is only four or five. The clinical picture has not changed much, but we see that there are patients that do not respond to standard treatment methods of complications caused by the coronavirus,” the chief physician said.
Protsenko said that Moscow has not reached peak COVID-19 figures so far. “I wish we were at the peak now. But miracles don’t exist,” he said.
According to him, this COVID-19 mutation began to spread within Russia. Perhaps the strain did not originate in Moscow itself, but once in a metropolis, it began to spread rapidly.
The immunologist also noted that there may be an increase in the number of deaths due to the fact that the usual treatment regimens do not work. Bolibok cited the words of the head physician of the hospital in Kommunarka Denis Protsenko, who had previously spoken about younger and more severe patients.
The Gamaleya Research Center noted that it is too early to make official statements on the “Moscow” strain of COVID-19. Dr. Anatoly Altstein confirmed the beginning of the third wave of coronavirus, but it may also be caused by imported strains. In any case, the new mutation of the virus is more infectious.
** No details have been released on the lineage of the variant yet. We are assuming the Russians have already ruled out the Delta variant as being responsible for the upsurge.
Pravda.ru report (in Russian)
** UPDATE 1 **
В столице сейчас наблюдается рост заболеваемости COVID-19, который выше, чем в среднем по России. По словам Болибока, новый штамм и стал причиной роста “ковидных” больных
“Самой главной причиной роста заражений коронавирусом, по всей вероятности, могло стать возникновение нашего собственного, московского, штамма”, — приводит URA.RU слова Болибока.
По его словам, эта мутация COVID-19 стала распространяться внутри России. Возможно, штамм возник не в самой Москве, но попав в мегаполис, стал быстро распространяться.
Также иммунолог отметил, что может наблюдаться повышение количества смертей из-за того, что привычные схемы лечения не срабатывают. Болибок привёл слова главврача больницы в Коммунарке Дениса Проценко, который ранее говорил о более молодых и более тяжёлых пациентах.
Of the 36 cases of Delta-AY.1 (mountaineers) variant, 27 cases were known to have a vaccination status within the National Immunisation Management System (NIMS).
“Through routine scanning of variation in Delta a small number of sequences were detected which had acquired the spike protein mutation K417N. Information suggests that there are at least 2 separate clades of Delta with K417N. One clade is large and internationally distributed with PANGO lineage designation AY.1. A second clade found in sequences uploaded to GISAID from the USA. There is limited epidemiological information available at present.
As of 7 June 2021, 63 genomes of Delta with K417N have been identified on GISAID. from Canada (1) Germany (1), Russia (1), Nepal (2), Switzerland (4), India (6), Poland (9), Portugal (12), Japan (13), USA (14).
There are currently 36 cases of Delta-AY.1 in England (35 confirmed sequencing and 1 probable genotyping) plus an additional 10 sequences which include some cases in other UK nations and some genomes for which case data is being sought. The first 5 cases were sequenced on 26 April 2021 and were contacts of travellers to Nepal and Turkey. All these cases were detected in the West Midlands. Cases have been detected in 6 different regions in England (Table 21, Figure 26). The majority of cases are in younger individuals, with 2 cases of age 60 or over (Figure 27). Out of the 36 cases, there were 11 travel associated cases (6 travellers and 5 cases amongst contacts of travellers). Twelve cases have no history of travel or contact with travellers. Countries of travel included red-list countries (Nepal and Turkey), amber-list countries (Malaysia) and green-list countries (Singapore).
Of the 36 cases, 27 cases were known to have a vaccination status within the National Immunisation Management System (NIMS), when linked on NHS number. Of these, 18 cases occurred in people who were not vaccinated, 2 cases in people who had received their first dose within 21 days of specimen date, 5 cases in people who had received their first dose more than 21 days after specimen date. There was a total of 2 cases where there were more than 14 days between the second dose of vaccine and a positive specimen. No deaths have been recorded amongst the 36 cases.”
PHE download – SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and variants under investigation in England – Technical briefing 15 (PDF)
“In China, scientists at the Wuhan Laboratory have been actively developing various variants of the coronavirus for more than 10 years. And they did this, supposedly not with the aim of creating disease-causing variants, but to study their pathogenicity. They did absolutely insane things, in my opinion, for example, insertions into the genome, which gave the virus the ability to infect human cells.”
В Китае ученые Уханьской лаборатории на протяжении более 10 лет активно занимались разработкой различных вариантов коронавируса. Причем они это делали, якобы не с целью создания болезнетворных вариантов, а для изучения их патогенности. Они делали совершенно безумные, на мой взгляд, вещи: к примеру, вставки в геном, которые придавали вирусу способность заражать клетки человека. Сейчас это все было проанализировано. Картина возможного создания нынешнего коронавируса потихоньку вырисовывается.
From an interview with Petr Chumakov, Professor, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology.
“Between Sept 7 and Nov 24, 2020, 21 977 adults were randomly assigned to the vaccine group (n=16 501) or the placebo group (n=5476). 19 866 received two doses of vaccine or placebo and were included in the primary outcome analysis. From 21 days after the first dose of vaccine (the day of dose 2), 16 (0·1%) of 14 964 participants in the vaccine group and 62 (1·3%) of 4902 in the placebo group were confirmed to have COVID-19; vaccine efficacy was 91·6% (95% CI 85·6–95·2). Most reported adverse events were grade 1 (7485 [94·0%] of 7966 total events). 45 (0·3%) of 16 427 participants in the vaccine group and 23 (0·4%) of 5435 participants in the placebo group had serious adverse events; none were considered associated with vaccination, with confirmation from the independent data monitoring committee. Four deaths were reported during the study (three [<0·1%] of 16 427 participants in the vaccine group and one [<0·1%] of 5435 participants in the placebo group), none of which were considered related to the vaccine.
This interim analysis of the phase 3 trial of Gam-COVID-Vac showed 91·6% efficacy against COVID-19 and was well tolerated in a large cohort.”
The USA, with 25,700,000 infections so far, would have 2,570,000 long haulers
The UK, with 3,600,000 infections far, would have 360,000 long haulers
Germany, with 2,100,000 infections so far, would have 210,000 long haulers
France, with 3,000,000 infections so far, would have 300,000 long haulers
Spain, with 2,600,000 infections so far would have 260,000 long haulers
Russia, with 3,700,000 infections so far, would have 370,000 long haulers
Brazil, with 8,800,000 infections so far, would have 880,000 long haulers
Planet Earth, with nearly 100,000,000 infections so far, would have 10,000,000 long haulers
Lancet: “Our findings showed that 76% of patients reported at least one symptom at 6 months after symptom onset, and the proportion was higher in women.”
Infection figures courtesy of Worldometers.info
“We report a genomic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 from a lymphoma patient with long-term COVID-19. This genome is characterized by an independent gain of 18 new mutations over more than 4 months of the disease. These include the S:Y453F and Δ69-70HV mutations (“the ΔF combination”) which have formerly been associated with mink-related clusters. Both of these mutations are found at intermediate frequencies in the patient, representing a case of intra-host polymorphism. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that the patient’s lineage is not related to the mink cluster, indicating that these mutations were gained anew. Independent acquisition of an identical pair of mutations in a mink and a lymphoma patient, and between multiple immunosuppressed patients, suggests concordant changes in selection.”
There have now been more than 60,000,000 confirmed coronavirus infections globally and the infection rate is still increasing.