SAGE scientists have urged Boris Johnson, the UK’s prime minister, to keep secondary schools closed in January because of concerns about a new, more virulent strain of coronavirus.
The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies said that the R rate — at which the virus reproduces — could be kept below the crucial 1 level if schools remained shut. Sage also warned that another national lockdown could be necessary at a meeting last week, according to the Politico website
There have now been more than 60,000,000 confirmed coronavirus infections globally and the infection rate is still increasing.
Seven countries are now reporting mink-related Sars-CoV-2 mutations in humans, according to new scientific analysis.
The mutations are identified as Covid-19 mink variants as they have repeatedly been found in mink and now in humans as well.
Uncertainty around the implications of the discovery of a Covid-19 mink variant in humans led Denmark, the world’s largest mink fur producer, to launch a nationwide cull earlier this month.
The cull was sparked by research from Denmark’s public health body, the Statens Serum Institut (SSI), which showed that a mink variant called C5 was harder for antibodies to neutralise and posed a potential threat to vaccine efficacy.
Denmark, the Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, the Faroe Islands, Russia and the US have all reported cases of mink-related mutations.
Only part of the European Union population can be inoculated against the new coronavirus before 2022, EU officials said in an internal meeting, as the vaccines the bloc is securing may not prove effective or may not be manufactured in sufficient doses
Mask-wearing will be obligatory for adults and older pupils in schools starting Wednesday in several more cantons, in reaction to the second wave of coronavirus cases. The University of Bern has already moved to expand distance-learning
Swiss government: “The second wave has arrived”
The second wave of Covid-19 has arrived in Switzerland faster and stronger than expected. Just over 3,000 new positive coronavirus cases and eight deaths were reported on Tuesday. The seven-day average of new cases has increased by 123% on the previous week to 2,636.