Thursday, February 25, 2021
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Van Gucht: ‘British variant will become dominant, but the key is in our hands’

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The British variant is undoubtedly more contagious than other variants of the virus, about 45 to 50 percent. Recent data also indicate that the other variants take in percentage fewer infections. However, this is not exceptional, Van Gucht nuances: “It is quite normal that new variants of the virus are constantly in circulation. Some of them come and stay, others disappear after a while. When a variant has a certain advantage over other variants, it can become dominant and will also cause more infections. That is clearly the case here. ”

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Contrary to what Professor Herman Goossens suggested on Radio 1 this week, however, we cannot at the moment assume that the British variant is also more deadly, says Van Gucht. There may also be other factors involved, although they are very difficult to distinguish. “In any case, more people die in a heavy wave like the one in the UK than in a quieter period. In such a situation, the care is also less optimal, for example due to an overload in the intensive care department. ”

In any case, we have the key ourselves, the virologist finally emphasizes. “It is people’s behavior that determines how the infections evolve, not the type of variant.” (BELGA)

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