Study finds Europe responsible for spreading coronavirus as cases cross 12 million

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Nov 07, 2020, 12:10 PM(IST)

IHU variant Photograph:( AFP )

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This claim has come as the total deaths due to coronavirus in Europe crossed the mark of 300,000 and the number of infections crossed the mark of 12 million

As the European countries are going into a second lockdown due to the fears of a second wave of the novel coronavirus, a study has found out that the deadly virus has been spread to the whole world from Europe.

Scientists of the UK’s University of Huddersfield and Portugal’s University of Minho analysed the genetic sequence of 27,000 SARS-CoV-2 genomes and concluded that the novel coronavirus may have started from China, but Europe sure is responsible for spreading it to the other parts of the world.

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The study was published in an edition of the scientific journal Microorganisms.

"Whilst the source of Covid-19 was clearly in China, the spread of the global pandemic during the first six months was largely fueled by the expansion in Europe,” state the authors in their paper, adding that travel restrictions in the continent were “too little and too late."

This claim has come as the total deaths due to coronavirus in Europe crossed the mark of 300,000 and the number of infections crossed the mark of 12 million. Brazil became the third worst-hit country with more than 161,736 coronavirus-deaths in the country followed by Mexico with 93,772 deaths. Meanwhile, France and Italy have initiated a second lockdown in their countries following a surge in the coronavirus cases. Greece, too, is initiating a temporary shutdown of secondary schools as the country is entering a second lockdown.

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The UK, too, has entered a phase of the second lockdown after a controversial and criticised tiered system of lockdown failed to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Researchers of the two institutes found out that although Europe closed its borders to outsiders in March itself, the countries did allow people to move within the contient, leading to widespread of the virus in the continent, which later spread it to other parts of the world as people started travelling.

"We highlighted how some (countries) were more effective than others in slowing down the spread, but also by unequivocally demonstrating that none were wholly effective in halting the spread," the researchers said.

"Air travel has clearly been a major driver of the pandemic, and our analysis suggests that stricter travel restrictions appear to be more effective in slowing the spread."

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