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Reviews of "Estimated transmissibility and severity of novel SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern 202012/01 in England"

Reviewers: Tomasz Lipniacki, Frederic Grabowski, Marek Kochańczyk (Institute of Fundamental Technological Research) | 📒📒📒◻️◻️ • Seyed Hasnain (Jamia Hamdard) | 📒📒📒◻️◻️

Published onFeb 10, 2021
Reviews of "Estimated transmissibility and severity of novel SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern 202012/01 in England"
key-enterThis Pub is a Review of
Estimated transmissibility and severity of novel SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern 202012/01 in England
Description

A novel SARS-CoV-2 variant, VOC 202012/01, emerged in southeast England in November 2020 and is rapidly spreading towards fixation. Using a variety of statistical and dynamic modelling approaches, we assessed the relative transmissibility of this novel variant. Depending on the analysis, we estimate that VOC 202012/01 is 43–82% (range of 95% credible intervals 38–106%) more transmissible than preexisting variants of SARS-CoV-2. We did not find clear evidence that VOC 202012/01 results in greater or lesser severity of disease than preexisting variants. Nevertheless, the increase in transmissibility is likely to lead to a large increase in incidence. To assess the potential impact of VOC 202012/01, we fitted a two-strain mathematical model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission to observed COVID-19 hospital admissions, hospital and ICU bed occupancy, and deaths; SARS-CoV-2 PCR prevalence and seroprevalence; and the relative frequency of VOC 202012/01. We find that without stringent control measures, COVID-19 hospitalisations and deaths are projected to reach higher levels in 2021 than were observed in 2020. Control measures of a similar stringency to the national lockdown implemented in England in November 2020 are unlikely to reduce the effective reproduction number Rt to less than 1, unless primary schools, secondary schools, and universities are also closed. We project that large resurgences of the virus are likely to occur following easing of control measures. It may be necessary to greatly accelerate vaccine roll-out to have an appreciable impact in suppressing the resulting disease burden.

To read the original manuscript, click the link above.

Summary of Reviews: This potentially informative study models the spread of 501Y.V1 in England, and suggests more stringent control measures and increased vaccinations are necessary to prevent spread of these variants.

Reviewer 1 (Tomasz Lipniacki, Frederic Grabowski, Marek Kochańczyk) | 📒📒📒 ◻️◻️

Reviewer 2 (Seyed Hasnain) | 📒📒📒 ◻️◻️

RR:C19 Strength of Evidence Scale Key

📕 ◻️◻️◻️◻️ = Misleading

📙📙 ◻️◻️◻️ = Not Informative

📒📒📒 ◻️◻️ = Potentially Informative

📗📗📗📗◻️ = Reliable

📘📘📘📘📘 = Strong

To read the reviews, click the links below.

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