Greek Scientist: “No Need to Panic” Over UK COVID-19 Mutation

December 22, 2020

ATHENS — A calm assessment of the scientific data without panic was the advice given by Professor of Histology Vassilis Gorgoulis of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens School of Medicine, regarding the mutated strain of SARS-Cov-2 detected in the United Kingdom, in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency published on Tuesday.

Prof. Gorgoulis, who was head of the team that developed the Greek rapid test for Covid-19, emphasised that little was known, apart from the fact that a new mutated strain has appeared in southeast England and British scientists claim that it is more contagious.

"I don't know what this conclusion is based on," he pointed out, while it was equally unknown was whether the mutation was a chance event or the result of natural selection.

"Usually, when a new event occurs there is a reaction that is often exaggerated. I say we should wait and carefully assess the data. There is no need to panic. We are at a much better point than we were 11 months ago for understanding and dealing with the virus, both as a scientific community and as a society," he added.

Pointing out that mutations of the virus were an expected phenomenon, Gorgoulis said that Greece was also monitoring samples to detect possible changes in the virus, tracking the differences that have arisen since the original mutation in Wuhan, China with those that appeared in Europe and other parts of the world.


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