Portugal has accused the British government of lying about the cases of Nepal mutation and creating panic of what the authorities tried to portray as a ‘Super Indian Variant’.
A leading microbiologist João Paulo Gomes says the British government is ‘lying’ about the number of cases of the Nepal mutation of the variant found in India.
Working out of INSA – the public health institute Dr Ricardo Jorge, and one of the key ‘experts’ feeding into the Portuguese government’s response to the pandemic – Mr Gomes told SIC television news that only 12 cases of the mutation have been identified through mass-testing nationally – not 68 as announced by UK Transport Minister Grant Shapps.
Irrespective of the numbers, there is nothing to suggest the mutation’ is any more virulent than the variant itself.
This is much more a case of Britain trying to make a ‘mountain out of a molehill’ – or in Mr Gomes own words ‘creating a storm in a glass of water’.
The reality, he explained, is that the mutation is a “perfectly normal” ‘sub-lineage of the variant found in India’.
Virus variants “have a process of evolution”, he said. In other words, this is still the variant found in India – not a ‘Super Indian Variant’ as British authorities seem to have tried to intimate.
Suspicions that the UK’s decision is not based on any consequential scientific reasoning have been touted – from the CEO of EasyJet, Portugal’s minister of foreign affairs, the Portuguese Confederation of Tourism and, naturally, from holidaymakers themselves – who see the ‘reality on the ground’ of a country returning to normal slowly but surely with very little in the form of serious Covid-related illness to report.
As reported by GreatGameIndia earlier, India saw nearly 750% increase in COVID-19 cases in less than a month.