A top German virologist heavily played down fears about Britain’s mutant strain of COVID-19, saying he was ‘not so worried’ and questioning the government’s claim that it is 70 percent more infectious.
Christian Drosten, the director of virology at Berlin’s Charite Hospital, said the 70 percent figure was ‘simply called that’, suggesting that SAGE estimates have been overblown and potentially misleading.
‘I wonder whether a scientist gave an estimate, or perhaps asked what he would say if he had to give a figure, and then it takes on a life of its own. Then it enters politics and politicians use this figure and the media takes it up,’ Drosten said.
‘Suddenly there’s a figure out there, 70 percent, and nobody even knows what it means.’
Germany is one of the more than 40 countries which have shut their borders to British flights because of the new strain. But Drosten said the new variant was likely already in Germany, saying he was ‘not so worried’ about it.