PHE England have recently published new reports on the SARS-COV-2 variants circulating in Britain: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Zeta, Eta, B.1.1.318, Theta, Kappa, B.1.617.3, AV.1, C.36.3, Lambda, C.37
Variants under surveillance
Secondary attack rates
SARS-CoV-2 Immunity and Reinfection Evaluation (the SIREN study) cohort monitoring
Part 2: Delta (B.1.617.2) surveillance
Surveillance through genomic data
Delta with K417N (Delta-AY.1)
Data on individual variants
Lambda (C.37, VUI-21JUN-01)
“The spike (S) glycoprotein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that emerged in 2019 contained a suboptimal furin cleavage site at the S1/S2 junction with the sequence 681 PRRAR/S 686. This cleavage site is required for efficient airway replication, transmission, and pathogenicity of the virus. …P681R significantly enhanced the ability of furin to cleave the peptide confirming that the arginine substitution is responsible for the enhanced cleavage of the B.1.617 S protein.
We speculate that enhanced S1/S2 cleavage seen in B.1.617 and B.1.1.7 [Alpha variant] (which contains P681H) may be contributing to the enhanced transmissibility of these SARS-CoV-2 variants.”
The WHO have announced new names for the confusingly named sars-cov-2 variants. The new names are based on the Greek alphabet.
Variants of Concern = Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta
Variants of Interest = Epsilon, Zeta, Eta, Theta, Iota, Kappa
WHO introduces new naming system for Sars-CoV-2 variants based on Greek alphabet – Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Zeta, Eta, Theta, Iota, Kappa etc
The highest ever daily country case figure for coronavirus on Planet Earth was recorded in The Seychelles in May 2021. The Seychelles daily case figure, adjusted for population, reached an astonishing 4,083 cases per million.
What is also surprising is that many of the countries on the list with the highest daily case rates also have excellent vaccination rates (see below). The Seychelles, for example, has vaccinated more than 60% of its population.
The reasons behind some of the high daily case numbers are given in articles we have previously published and have linked to below.
A total of 78 Covid-19 cases in the current outbreak in Singapore have been vaccinated – many of whom are frontline workers – compared to about 300 unvaccinated cases, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung. The numbers represent a ratio of about 79 per cent unvaccinated cases versus 21 per cent vaccinated ones. It’s “not quite” true that the situation in Singapore is “getting very bad”, he said.
Singapore is currently battling a fresh wave of B.1.617.2 infections introduced through Changi airport despite strict anti-covid protocols including regular antigen and RT-PCR testing for the workforce. About one quarter of the population of Singapore have been fully vaccinated and over one third have been partially vaccinated. Singapore has only approved the use of the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines for use in the country. It’s a stark warning about the difficulty of controlling the spread of the new variant first discovered in India.
Well that escalated quickly. It took just a little over one month to do it, but B.1.617.2 is now just hours away from outcompeting B.1.1.7 (aka the UK or Kent variant) on a national scale in Great Britain.
Let’s not forget that B.1.1.7 virtually conquered the globe after being discovered in Britain in September 2020. B117 Infections started to climb rapidly in Britain in December 2020, and it became the dominant sars-cov-2 variant in many countries across the globe shortly thereafter. Now, barely 5 months later, it is being dethroned by a variant that carries neither of the signature sars-cov-2 mutations that were of such concern in the existing VOC’s – E484K and N501Y.
This is the same B.1.617.2 / B.1.1.7 chart for India:
UPDATE 24th May 2021:
The latest data from Gisaid.org shows nearly 4,000 cases of B.1.617+ have been found in the UK and submitted to the database. This figure includes all sub-lineages including B.1.617.2, B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.3, although the latter two are still found at a relatively low level in the UK compared to B.1.617.2.
B.1.617.2 is still looking like it will outcompete B.1.1.7 across the entire UK within a short period of time.
On May 19, the director of Singapore’s National Center for Infectious Diseases, Professor Liang Yuxin, said in an exclusive interview with Singapore’s mainstream media, Lianhe Zaobao, that Singapore’s research shows that the recent local transmission of the mutant new coronavirus B.1.617.2 remains in the respiratory tract of patients in a higher amount. It also stays for longer, causing the virus to spread more easily. A study found that patients infected with the B.1.617.2 virus had a higher amount and discharge of the virus in the respiratory tract than the original, longer time in the body, and a slower rate of decline.
Professor Liang Yuxin said that the lower the circulation threshold, the more viruses in the body. The circulation threshold of a common virus is about 20, while that of a variant virus is 15, so it may be easier to spread. She also said that the recent outbreaks of multiple infection groups in Singapore are all related to the B.1.617.2 variant virus that was first discovered in India.
5/ There's a general western problem based on nonsense memes like 'asians all do as they're told it won't work here'. This is what many behavioural science 'experts'/charlatans argued, disastrously, in Feb2020. This nonsense is STILL influencing policy, eg our joke borders policy
— Dominic Cummings (@Dominic2306) May 17, 2021
B.1.617 cases as of 16th May 2021 as per Wikipedia
And yes, we KNOW it’s because there is far more sequencing done in the UK than in India. The Brits should be proud of their world-class genome sequencing effort. They have been at the bleeding edge of the fight against this pandemic since day one.
UPDATE 17th May 2021: Wikipedia updated to show new figures:
The number of confirmed UK cases of the Covid variant first detected in India has almost doubled in four days, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said, as experts warned it could become the dominant type of the virus imminently. Speaking on the day indoor hospitality and other venues were allowed to reopen, Hancock told MPs that 2,323 cases of the variant known as B.1.617.2 had been confirmed, up from 1,313 on Thursday, with 483 of those in the outbreaks in Bolton and Blackburn.
This does not look good…..
British Columbia CDC: “Researchers are monitoring for specific sublineages of this variant, including B.1.617.1, 1.617.2, B.1.617.3 and B.1.617.4” (is this a typo?)