The new ‘Nu’ Covid variant is of our own making

 The new ‘Nu’ Covid variant is of our own making

South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini and Zimbabwe have been placed on the United Kingdom’s red list, in a bid to prevent the new “Nu” variant of Covid. Returning travellers from those six countries will have to quarantine for ten days while further flights from these countries will be banned. Stock markets around the world have fallen on the news.

It’s a reminder of three neglected truths. The first is that in most of the world, Covid-19 has been far deadlier in 2021 than it was in 2020. The vaccine rollout in the UK has enabled us to escape that, but as long as global vaccination rates remain uneven, the potential remains high for worrying new variants such as Nu – which has many more mutations than Delta, and therefore may be able to escape the vaccine. Thirdly, as long as global…

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