PRAGUE, 23 Feb – RIA Novosti. Experts of the Czech National Reference Laboratory (NRL) received on Tuesday for research two suspected samples of the “South African mutation” of the coronavirus, which could have entered the republic from abroad, Klara Dolakova, a spokesman for the State Institute of Health, told reporters.
“Until the NRL confirmed the emergence of a 'South African' strain of coronavirus in our country. There is information about the presence of two samples, of which one is prepared for testing, and the second is not suitable for this due to the low concentration of RNA. In both cases, import is suspected due to abroad “, – said Dolakova. Science
According to Dolakova, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has already warned national health authorities that there has been a large increase in mutated variants of the coronavirus across Europe.
In addition, according to research by British doctors published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the “South African mutation” of the coronavirus could reduce the effectiveness of vaccines by two-thirds, in particular the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine. In this regard, the experts of these companies, according to media reports, are allegedly ready to test a new version of their vaccine.
In the Czech Republic, the “British” strain of coronavirus, which has become predominant in the western regions of the republic, is currently actively expanding. The number of patients here is 3-4 times higher than the national average. Hospitals in the cities of Cheb and Tachov are overcrowded, and therefore patients have to be sent 200-300 kilometers to the southeast of the country.
According to the Ministry of Health, 11,233 new patients with coronavirus were registered in the republic during Monday, which is 2,310 more than on the same day a week earlier. A total of 120,823 people are now sick. 6572 people were hospitalized, of which 1329 are in intensive care or on mechanical ventilation, the number of seriously ill patients is the largest for the entire time of the pandemic.