Dramatic growth in “Kent” variant on mainland
The Portugal News, among others, reports that the variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus detected in the United Kingdom has been found to be responsible for almost half of the new cases of COVID-19 in Portugal. In early January it represented just 8% of infections, according to the widely respected Ricardo Jorge National Institute (INSA).
“As of February 16 [Tuesday, last week], we estimate that this variant represents around 48% of all COVID-19 cases in Portugal,” João Paulo Gomes, INSA researcher and coordinator of the study on diversity genetics of the new coronavirus in Portugal, talking to the press agency Lusa
According to INSA data, the incidence in the country of this “UK” variant of the virus that causes COVID-19, considered more contagious, has been growing since the beginning of the year, registering a constant increase over several weeks, in the period in which the highest number of infections was registered in Portugal.
João Paulo Gomes estimates that the variant originating in the United Kingdom represented around 8% of cases of the COVID-19 disease in the first week of the year, increasing to 13.4% in the second week of January and to 24.7% in the third week.
Regarding the variant originating in South Africa, INSA only identified four cases in Portugal, and no case of the SARS-CoV-2 variant initially discovered in Manaus, Brazil, was registered until Thursday.
Overall, the number of new daily cases in mainland Portugal is declining from the dubious distinction of being the worst country in the world according to statistics earlier this month.
Thanks to both Peter A and Jaime for this link.
COVID-19 in Madeira: daily updates can be found on an earlier post