New variant NOT ‘worth worrying about; Fails to take off… Medical Journal: ‘End Of Pandemic Won’t Be Televised’…

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French Covid variant is NOT ‘worth worrying about’ because it predates Omicron and has failed to take off, scientists say

  • Mutant strain has 46 mutations making it more vaccine resistant and infectious
  • But there is little sign that it is outcompeting the dominant Omicron variant
  • Some 12 cases have been spotted to date, linked to travel to Cameroon 

A new Covid variant detected in France is not worth worrying about, experts have insisted.

Virologists say the strain predates Omicron but has yet to cause chaos, bolstering hopes that it may fade into the background.

At least 12 cases of B.1.640.2 have been spotted so far near Marseille, with the first linked to travel to the African country Cameroon.

But it is not outcompeting the dominant Omicron variant, which now makes up 60 per cent of all infections in France.

Dr Thomas Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College London, said the variant has had ‘a decent chance to cause trouble but never really materialised’.


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The end of the pandemic will not be televised

Dashboards of pandemic statistics have dominated screens and helped to track covid-19, but David Robertson and Peter Doshi explain why they might not be enough to define its end

As the year 2021 started, the covid-19 pandemic seemed to be receding. Discussions and predictions about “opening up,” a return to “normal,” and achieving herd immunity were in the air.1234 But for many, optimism receded as cases and deaths surged in India, Brazil, and elsewhere. Attention turned to SARS-CoV-2 virus variants—most recently, the emergence of omicron. Just as the end seemed to be on the horizon, it was interrupted by a foreboding that the pandemic could be a long way from over.56

Unlike any previous pandemic, covid-19 has been closely tracked through dashboards that aim to show the real time movement and effect of coronavirus; they track laboratory testing metrics, hospital and intensive care admissions, transmission rates, and, most recently, vaccine doses delivered. These dashboards—with their panels of numbers, statistics, epidemic curves, and heat maps—have dominated our televisions, computers, and smartphones. At their core is the allure of objectivity and data to grasp onto in the midst of uncertainty and fear. They have helped populations conceptualise a need for rapid containment and control,7 directing public sentiment, fuelling pressure for countermeasures, and maintaining an aura of emergency.7 They offer a sense of control when cases are coming down following certain countermeasures but can also drive a sense of helplessness and impending catastrophe when cases rise.

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