By Cyrille Vanlerberghe, science and medicine editor.
The end of December should have been a happy time at last in this long year of the fight against the coronavirus. The one where Europe authorizes the marketing of the first vaccine against Covid, which, luckily, is both extremely effective and devoid of serious side effects. It was the hope of returning to normal life as quickly as possible. But the discovery of a new variant of the virus which is spreading like wildfire in southern England and is said to be up to “70% more transmissible than the old one” throws a dark veil on this end of the year. Even if many uncertainties remain about the exact effect of these mutations – other explanations are after all possible to understand the recent resumption of the epidemic in London – many countries in Europe have not hesitated to suspend the links with Great Britain.
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