Approx. 70 Norwegians have been infected with coronavirus after two concerts in a culture house in Færder Municipality last week, and many of them have been diagnosed with the Delta variant – the variant that was first found in India.
“All the positive samples are checked regularly for the Delta virus. We have not received answers to all the tests yet, but based on the answers we have received so far, we assume that everyone in this outbreak has the Delta variant,” says municipal chief physician Elin Jacobsen.
Seven of those infected in the outbreak had been vaccinated, including 80-year-old Britt Ingeborg Wilhelmsen.
Jyllands Post report (in Danish)
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Friday tightened restrictions in the country following a worrying rise in Covid-19 infections and deaths.
On a day when the country recorded 42 Covid-related deaths and 1,000 new infections, the Ugandan leader stopped the movement of public and private transport vehicles. Only security, emergency and other essential service providers, including the police, firefighters and the military have been exempted.
The new move tightened restrictions imposed a week ago, when cross-district travel was banned, schools closed and other public gatherings restricted yet the deaths continued to rise.
At the Mulago National Referral Hospital in the capital Kampala, a ‘technical fault’ on Wednesday cut off oxygen supply to Covid-19 patients at the facility, leading to the death of several patients. The new highest death toll would arrive two days later when the country reported 42 deaths, raising the number of those killed by the virus to more than 400.
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.
Dr Susan Hopkins, Public Health England’s strategic COVID-19 response director, told the Science and Technology Committee of the UK Parliament today that if the Delta variant B16712 was “unmitigated”, left to spread without any lockdown restrictions, the R number could become “greater than five and maybe up to seven”.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday that the coronavirus variant of COVID-19, commonly known as C.37, has been named Lambda. Lambda has been identified in 29 countries, most notably in South America where it is believed to have originated.
First identified in Peru, the Lambda lineage was classified as a global Variant of Interest on Monday due to an “elevated prevalence” in South America, the WHO said in its weekly update.
Lambda has been rampant in Peru where 81 percent of COVID-19 cases since April 2021 were associated with this variant, authorities reported.
In Chile, it was detected in 32 percent of all submitted sequences in the last 60 days, and only outclassed by the Gamma (P.1) variant which was first identified in Brazil. Other countries such as Argentina and Ecuador have also reported elevated prevalence of the new variant.
The WHO reported that the Lambda lineage carries mutations that might increase transmissibility or strengthen the virus’s resistance to antibodies.
However, evidence is too limited for the moment, the Geneva-based organization said, and more studies are required to understand better the Lambda variant.
Lineage prevalence in Peru:
A 12-year-old Asiatic lion, Pathmanathan, has died from Covid-19 in Arignar Anna Zoological Park, popularly known as Vandalur Zoo, outside Chennai on Wednesday morning, a statement from the zoo authority said. This is the second coronavirus-related death reported from the zoo after nine-year-old lioness Neela, who succumbed to the infection on June 3.
Pathbanathan, who was housed in the safari area, passed away at 10:15 am as per the official release by the zoo.
“The samples of the said lion had tested Positive for SARS-CoV-2 as per the report of National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal communicated on the 3rd June 2021. The lion was under intensive treatment since then,” the press release said.
A couple of days ago, the park officials said three lions infected with the virus were responding slowly to treatment and efforts were on to help them recuperate.
Researchers find that surges in COVID-19 case numbers are associated with deletions in the SARS-CoV-2 genome in an antigenic site of the spike protein. Some of these mutations are present in vaccine breakthrough infections or reinfections.
“The nference team joined efforts with the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to explore the potential role of NTD deletions in COVID-19 patients with natural or vaccine-induced immunity. They analyzed the viral genomes from 53 patients, 20 with vaccine breakthrough infections and 33 with suspected reinfections. They observed that 42 of these patients had at least one deletion in the NTD compared to the wildtype reference sequence of SARS-CoV-2, Wuhan-Hu-1, and 4 of them showed a contiguous stretch of 3–9 amino acids deleted. The authors speculate these deletion patterns could allow the virus to evade acquired immunity.”
Preprint: Antigenic minimalism of SARS-CoV-2 is linked to surges in COVID-19 community transmission and vaccine breakthrough infections
A majority of genome sequences from human cases had clear phylogenetic relationships to sequences recovered from mink samples. Sequences from humans and mink from the same mink farms clustered closely together, suggesting within-farm human-to-mink and/or mink-to-human transmission. In sequences from two human samples from one of the negative mink farms the mutation Y453F, considered as an adaptation to mink, was observed.
“Between mid-October and mid-November, the National Veterinary Institute received 74 submissions of between 3–5 dead mink, representing between 1 and 4 submissions per farm. Thirteen farms gave positive results for SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acids using qRT-PCR. All positive farms were located in Sölvesborg, the County of Blekinge, in the south-eastern part of the country. None of the positive farms had reported increased morbidity or mortality before testing positive but, retrospectively, a slight increase in daily mortalities could be observed in the records from several of the farms.
All sequences from mink belonged to sub-lineage B1.1.39, a sub-lineage only seen once in Sweden before the outbreak. From the serological screening, 24 samples per farm were received from 26 out of the 28 mink farms that remained after the pelting. Specific SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were detected in the vast majority of samples from 23 farms, including in all farms that previously had been tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acids. In the remaining three farms, all samples tested negative.
A total of 100 persons have been registered in the program, but due to the seasonal mode of work, and changes in the workforce, the number of participants has varied. The 317 samples that have been taken and analysed for ongoing viral infection within the surveillance program have resulted in 8 positive persons. In addition to samples from these persons another 14 samples from mink farmworkers that was tested positive before the surveillance was launched were collected. All 22 samples were whole-genome sequenced (WGS). In the serological survey, 78 persons participated, among whom 27 tested positive.
The resulting sequences from WGS were analysed using pangolin. Generally, two main groups were seen, one representing sequences with a pangolin classification similar to that of sequences recovered from WGS of samples from minks (B.1.1.39) and the second group representing sequences with a pangolin classification identical to those circulating in Sweden at the time. The sequences were further analysed by aligning them towards the reference sequence NC_045512. A phylogenetic tree was calculated, and the subtree representing sequences with the pangolin classification B.1.1.39 was studied separately as new sequences were added.
A majority of sequences from human cases had clear phylogenetic relationships to sequences recovered from mink samples. Sequences from humans and mink from the same mink farms clustered closely together, suggesting within-farm human-to-mink and/or mink-to-human transmission. In sequences from two human samples from one of the negative mink farms the mutation Y453F, considered as an adaptation to mink, was observed.”
From: Mink-associated infections with SARS-CoV-2 –
** Update ** Mink farming was suspended for 2021 in Sweden, but on the basis of this report, mink farming should be banned entirely, not just in Sweden, but internationally. Mink farms risk becoming major reservoirs of Sars-CoV-2 capable of spilling back into the human population. The advantages of mink farming do not remotely outweigh the risks.
It seems that Sars-CoV-2 prefers particular areas of the UK. North West England is once again one of the worst hit areas in Britain in June 2021, but even rural areas such as Wiltshire and Cornwall have higher infection rates than neighbouring counties which is similar to the spread of the B.1.1.7 Alpha variant in January 2021.
This is the Alpha variant up to 9th January 2021:
And this is the Delta variant up to 5th June 2021:
“Ferrets, mink and other members of the mustelinae family are particularly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. They can infect members of their own species and there is evidence that mink can pass the infection back to humans.”
Ferret and other mustelinae keepers can join a register to share information about their animals with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). APHA will use the information on the register to contact you with information and guidance about disease prevention if there is an outbreak of disease affecting your animals.
You can sign up if you keep one or more mustelinae, including:
- hybrids of these animals
You are a keeper if you are responsible for the day-to-day care of the animals. This includes animals kept as pets.
You do not have to join the register by law at the moment. It is likely to become compulsory in the future if you keep more than a certain number of ferrets or other mustelinae. The number has not been decided yet.
APHA encourages you to register even if you do not have to by law.
If you join the voluntary register, APHA will include your details on the compulsory register when it is created. You will not need to re-register.
Ferrets, mink and other members of the mustelinae family are particularly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. They can infect members of their own species and there is evidence that mink can pass the infection back to humans.
If there is a confirmed case of SARS-CoV-2 in ferrets, you may be contacted with information and advice about disease prevention measures.
The movement of animals infected with SARS-CoV-2 may be restricted in line with The Zoonoses Order (1989) as amended.
* Mustelinae is a subfamily of family Mustelidae, which includes weasels, ferrets and minks
We’ve spent two days scouring the internet looking for Plan B for what happens in the event of complete Covid-19 vaccine failure. So what does happen if the vaccines fail? Here is what we have found so far:
Actually, we found no results. It seems that no one is even asking the question. Perhaps it’s time to start that conversation?
Patrick Vallance: “This is a virus that is going to be with us forever.” Chris Whitty: “We will have to live with this virus which will continue to cause severe infections and kill people for the rest of our lives.” Boris Johnson: “There will be ..further surges of the disease.”
At 36:56, Patrick Vallance: “This is a virus that is going to be with us forever.”
At 36:48, Chris Whitty – “We will have to live with this virus which will continue to cause severe infections and kill people for the rest of our lives.”
At 40:05, Boris Johnson: “we will have a booster program for vaccines, and we’ll be setting that out very soon. There will be, as everybody has said, further surges of the disease.”
Welcome to the dark side lads!