Countries are bracing for the impact of more contagious virus variants.

Many nations count on that B.1.1.7’s affect nonetheless lies forward.

That could be a disturbing risk in the US, which has lengthy had the world’s largest coronavirus outbreak and is within the midst of a post-holiday surge. On Friday, federal well being specialists warned in dire phrases that B.1.1.7 would most likely be the dominant source of infection in the country by March.

Almost 20 European nations have discovered B.1.1.7 to this point. In Denmark on Saturday, the authorities stated greater than 250 instances had been detected in samples taken since November. The nation’s well being minister has predicted that the variant will predominate by mid-February. The nation’s coronavirus monitor additionally reported that it had recognized a case of the variant present in South Africa, Reuters reported.

Many nations in Europe are redoubling their efforts at mitigation. A nationwide 6 p.m. curfew went into impact in France on Saturday, and the authorities have warned that they may reimpose strict lockdown measures. Scotland tightened already strict restrictions, together with banning consuming outdoors and barring clients from stepping inside institutions to purchase takeaway meals or espresso. Britain and Germany have closed schools.

In a stark distinction, the authorities in Spain have refused to impose a brand new nationwide lockdown, arguing that the latest discovery of dozens of instances of the variant had been to not blame for a report surge in infections.

On Saturday, Britain reported eight instances of one of many variants present in Brazil, hours after British authorities imposed a journey ban from Latin American nations and Portugal, which is tied to Brazil by its colonial historical past and by present journey and commerce ties. Italy additionally suspended flights from Brazil, its well being minister, Roberto Speranza, announced on Facebook.

A number one epidemiologist stated {that a} second variant found in Brazil was almost certainly already current in Britain.

“We’re some of the related nations on the earth, so I’d discover it uncommon if we hadn’t imported some instances into the U.Okay.,” Professor John Edmunds, a member of a bunch of scientists advising the federal government on the pandemic, stated concerning the second variant, which was discovered within the Brazilian metropolis of Manaus.

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