Irrespective of the numbers, there is nothing to suggest the mutation’ is any more virulent than the variant itself.
This is much more a case of Britain trying to make a ‘mountain out of a molehill’ – or in Mr Gomes own words ‘creating a storm in a glass of water’.
The reality, he explained, is that the mutation is a “perfectly normal” ‘sub-lineage of the variant found in India’.
Virus variants “have a process of evolution”, he said. In other words, this is still the variant found in India – not a ‘Super Indian Variant’ as British authorities seem to have tried to intimate.
Suspicions that the UK’s decision is not based on any consequential scientific reasoning have been touted – from the CEO of EasyJet, Portugal’s minister of foreign affairs, the Portuguese Confederation of Tourism and, naturally, from holidaymakers themselves – who see the ‘reality on the ground’ of a country returning to normal slowly but surely with very little in the form of serious Covid-related illness to report.