The Danish epidemiologist Viggo Andreasen believes that the mutated coronavirus must be treated as a completely new disease and demands even stricter measures.
The mutated virus, which was first detected in the UK, is said to be more contagious than the original coronavirus.
Studies estimate that the new variant is 50-70% more contagious than the virus that paralyzed the world in 2020, Andreasen said.
Andreasen is an associate professor of epidemiology at Roskilde University.
“We are in a situation where we have to stop the virus by having less contact with each other.
“It should be assumed that the R-number has increased by 50–70%. Now it looks like the coronavirus we are used to has an R-number of just under 1 with the current restrictions,” he said.
The R-number is the expected number of cases generated by one case.
Andreasen believes Denmark is now in a similar situation as in March when the first coronavirus spread violently.
“There is not much else we can do now but to further tighten restrictions. In the long run, one can hope to stop some of the spread with better infection tracking, but that takes time,” he noted.
Situation in Norway
The R-number in Norway is now estimated at 1.3, the National Institute of Public Health (FHI) stated on Saturday.
Each person who is infected with the coronavirus further infects an average of 1.3 people.
Just a month ago, at the beginning of December, the FHI estimated that the R-number was 0.8.
To date, 16 cases of the mutated virus have been registered in Norway.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today