The Science and Technology Committee has this morning been exploring the new Covid variant, with expert Professors Peter Horby and Neil Ferguson admitting that the UK is likely being punished because we have better genetic sequencing than other countries in the world and are therefore more able to detect new variants. Ferguson, however, went on to add that:
“… the fact that they have picked up ten cases with sequencing of this new variant in a country as small as Denmark with a relatively low infection rate would suggest, I’m almost certain in my view, that this virus has been introduced into the great majority if not all of European countries at the present time.“
Other countries will have other variants and are just unlikely to know about them due to inferior sequencing capabilities. The two that Professor Ferguson noted were in South Africa, and potentially Nigeria. Horby and Ferguson noted the UK was providing a “public good” to the world by having such advanced sequencing so publicly available. Not so much Plague Island as Lighthouse Albion.