So far, forty-five countries have identified the UK variant of the coronavirus, and experts warn that more countries could report sharp increases in cases in the coming weeks.
Thirteen of these countries have recorded a community transmission of the B117 variant, which is spreading faster and has helped England shut down for the third time.
The variant was first identified in Kent in September, where cases declined to go through the November closure. It is estimated to be approximately 56% more transmissible than previous variants.
With aircraft capable of carrying a total of more than 8 million passengers scheduled to leave the UK between October and December, and poor surveillance that has likely missed cases of the variant abroad, there are concerns that already can sow in other countries at a low level. level.
While it is impossible to know where exactly the variant is and how the cases will play out in the future, the following images help show its whereabouts and which countries are experiencing increases in Covid-19.
Countries such as France, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Italy have identified local transmission, according to the Cov-lineages.org tracking website.
The United States, which reported a record number of daily deaths on Wednesday, also identified local transmission in five individual states.
Where have people traveled from the UK?
It is not yet clear how strict border controls and quarantine measures will contain the international spread of the variant.
But even before a large number of countries closed their borders to the UK for the Christmas period, hundreds of thousands of people had flown from the UK to other countries.
Figures provided by travel data company OAG show that flights with a combined capacity of more than 8 million were scheduled to depart the UK from October to December. While the statistics do not take into account some short notice cancellations and it is not known how many passengers eventually boarded the planes, the figures suggest that hundreds of thousands of people traveled from the UK when the variant took over.
The main destination for flights out of the UK was Spain, which imposed a travel ban on December 22, three months after the variant was first sequenced.
Experts warn that the variant has likely already spread around the world, and that it is only a matter of time before it is identified in greater numbers.
Martin McKee, a professor of European public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, warned of major events causing further increases at a time when the variant is likely to be circulating.
“The UK variant simmered from 20 September for several months before taking off, probably because it took a while to get to some super spreader events. The same is likely to be the case in other countries where the UK version is circulating at low levels. “
Which countries have seen the biggest increases over Christmas?
Although it is difficult to link the increase in the number of cases with variants without good surveillance, Johns Hopkins University data reveals that several other countries alongside the UK are already experiencing an increase in infection after the Christmas period.
Twenty-four countries recorded more new coronavirus cases in the week ending January 4 than in the week ending December 21. This includes the UK, South Africa, and the US.
Among countries with more than 3 million people and with a total case rate of more than one in 100 to date, cases have doubled in three countries during the Christmas period: Ireland, Bolivia and Israel.
The UK had the largest increase and the largest absolute increase, recording 203,845 new cases in the week ending December 21 and 383,833 in the week ending January 4. This marks an increase in new cases of 88%.
Of the 24 countries that have seen spikes in new cases over Christmas, 10 have officially identified the UK variant.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism