Minks at farmer Stig Sørensen’s property the place all minks should be culled because of a authorities order on November 7, 2020 in Bording, Denmark.

Ole Jensen | Getty Photos Information | Getty Photos

LONDON — The invention of a brand new coronavirus pressure on Danish mink farms has led to the introduction of strict public well being measures within the north of the nation, with different European nations additionally responding to the outbreak.

It comes after a warning from Denmark’s nationwide authority for the management of infectious illness, the State Serum Institute, that if the mutant virus had been to unfold internationally it may have probably “serious consequences” for a future Covid-19 vaccine.

Greater than 1 / 4 of one million individuals in northern Denmark went into lockdown on Friday, with residents urged to get examined after Covid-19 infections had been reported among the many mink inhabitants in that area.

Eating places throughout seven municipalities had been ordered to shut from Saturday, and colleges from fifth grade and above had been required to modify to distant studying from Monday.

Elsewhere, the U.Okay. authorities implemented stricter rules for arrivals from Denmark. Freight drivers who’ve been in or travelled by means of Denmark within the final 14 days, and who usually are not residents of the U.Okay., will now be refused entry to Britain. All passenger vessels and accompanying freight from Denmark will even be halted.

In Eire, passengers arriving from the Scandinavian nation have been informed to take additional precautions to comprise the unfold of the newly-discovered coronavirus pressure.

The Irish authorities has mentioned individuals ought to limit their actions for 14 days after coming into the nation from Denmark, even when they’re visiting for an “important” objective.

What can we find out about this new Covid pressure?

Final week, Danish well being authorities raised the alarm over a mutant type of the coronavirus that arose in mink farms and has unfold to people.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen described the state of affairs as “very, very severe,” and ordered the nation’s mink farms to cull all 15 million minks in a transfer designed to cut back the danger of the animals re-transmitting the pressure of the coronavirus to people.

Mink farm proprietor Holger Rønnow in his farm, the place he’s compelled by the Authorities to mass cull all minks on November 6, 2020 in Herning, Denmark.

Ole Jensen | Getty Photos Information | Getty Photos

Information from animal rights group Humane Society Worldwide places Denmark because the world’s second-largest exporter of mink fur, behind China. It says Denmark accounted for roughly half of all the 35 million mink farmed in Europe in 2018.

Since June, 214 human circumstances of Covid-19 have been identified in Denmark with variants related to the farmed minks, the WHO mentioned, together with 12 circumstances with a singular variant, reported on Nov. 5.

All of those 12 circumstances had been discovered to have originated in North Jutland, Denmark, and the individuals contaminated ranged in age from 7 to 79-years-old.

The WHO mentioned preliminary observations instructed that the medical presentation, severity and transmission amongst these contaminated had been much like that of different circulating coronavirus strains.

The WHO has since launched a review of biosecurity measures in mink farms throughout the globe.

Too early to ‘come to any conclusions’

The coronavirus is constantly evolving, and, thus far, there isn’t any proof to recommend the mutation recognized amongst Danish mink farms poses an elevated hazard to individuals.

As of Monday morning, greater than 50.3 million individuals had been reported to have contracted Covid-19 worldwide, with 1.25 million associated deaths, in line with knowledge compiled by Johns Hopkins College.

Drugmakers and analysis facilities are scrambling to ship a secure and efficient vaccine in an try and carry an finish to the coronavirus pandemic.

Small bottles labeled with a “Vaccine COVID-19” sticker and a medical syringe are seen on this illustration taken taken April 10, 2020.

Dado Ruvic | Reuters

Dr. Mike Ryan, govt director of the WHO’s well being emergencies program, mentioned on Friday that it was “an extended, great distance away” from understanding whether or not the mutation of the virus may have any implications for diagnostics or vaccines.

The WHO’s chief scientist, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, agreed.

“I feel that we have to wait and see what the implications are, however I do not assume we should always come to any conclusions about whether or not this explicit mutation goes to impression vaccine efficacy or not,” Swaminathan mentioned on Friday.

“We have no proof for the time being that it might. However we are going to replace you as we get extra info.”

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