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Many EU countries declare “the end of the epidemic”! The demand for new crown antigen testing in Europe in a single month will exceed 5 billion!

While scientists around the world are dealing with the culprit – the new coronavirus, the virus itself is constantly changing and upgrading. There have been many variants of the virus. The demand for home self-test products for the new coronavirus antigen will grow explosively . The demand for COVID-19 antigen testing in this month will exceed 5 billion.

The Omicron variant also has the important amino acid mutation sites of the first 4 highly concerned variant (VOC) Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta spike proteins, including the mutation sites that enhance cell receptor affinity and viral replication ability. Compared with the original strain (SARS-CoV-2) and the delta variant, the Omicron variant has higher viral load, faster transmission speed, stronger transmission ability, and stronger concealment.

In November 2021, Omicron was confirmed for the first time in South Africa, after which it triggered a “new storm” of the new crown epidemic in Europe, and many countries entered a “state of emergency” in succession. A report published by a research team from the South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in South Africa showed that reinfection caused by Omicron is three times more likely than the delta strain . The bureau said the mutant strain has twice the number of mutations as the delta strain , and the mutations are likely to produce immune escape, leading to greater resistance to existing vaccines.

Figure 1 Comparison of the mutation of this map protein between the delta strain and the Omicron strain (the picture comes from the Children’s Hospital of Rome)

The Omicron strain has now replaced the delta strain in most countries for which data are available, and community transmission due to the Omicron strain has been reported in many countries. In countries with community transmission of Omicron, cases of infection double in just 1.5 to 3 days, spreading significantly faster than the delta strain. Moreover, in this round of Omicron epidemic, the dead patients died an average of 2 to 4 weeks after the onset of symptoms, which was significantly shorter than the 4 to 5 weeks during the Delta epidemic.

The global new crown pneumonia epidemic situation has once again entered a stage of rapid development, and the epidemic situation in many countries has repeatedly hit new highs. The United States, which ranks first in the world in terms of the number of confirmed cases of infection and the number of deaths, is in “distress”. Today, 99.9% of new confirmed cases in the United States are caused by Omicron. The situation of the new crown epidemic in Europe is still severe, but many countries such as Denmark and the United Kingdom are gradually relaxing epidemic prevention measures. WHO Regional Director for Europe Kruger pointed out that by March 2022, 60% of Europeans may be infected with Omikron. .

Figure 2 Daily new confirmed cases in the world, China, the United States, Europe, and Japan (seven-day rolling average/million people)

In response to some self-media claims that Omicron caused the “big flu”, Zhang Wenhong, director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases Medicine and director of the Department of Infectious Diseases of Huashan Hospital affiliated to Fudan University, said that this statement lacks scientific basis, although the current data shows that The symptoms of those infected with Omicron are all mild, but if the immunity is not strong enough and there is no good medical resources, then the mutant strain of Omicron will “bite”, and high vigilance is required!

Since the development of the epidemic, it is not difficult to see that human beings are fighting “weird” to upgrade, but “weird” has also been upgrading and evolving. The new coronavirus mutant virus emerges in an endless stream. At present, mankind is facing a crisis situation of “wolves before and tigers behind”, and it is not ruled out that there will still be new mutant strains in the future. Regular, frequent and widespread testing is another key element in the fight against the pandemic while we build a strong immune system .

As the pressure of epidemic prevention and control increases, new crown self-test products are sought after in the United States, Europe, Australia and other countries and regions. Recently, the United States has launched a new crown rapid testing plan, which includes private medical insurance companies reimbursement for home new crown testing expenses for insured persons and the federal government provides free home testing kits for people without private medical insurance . Inspection and other scenarios are launched, and it is expected that the landing demand will be dominated by more convenient antigen detection products.

The epidemic in Europe is still ongoing, and there are many repeated infections caused by the Omicron strain. European countries such as the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Spain have already implemented home self-testing, and sales channels have also expanded from pharmacies to supermarkets. According to “2021 Performance Express Review: Industry Pioneer in New Crown Antigen Testing, Continues to Expand the Global Market”: “With a population of 330 million in the United States, the monthly demand for new crown antigen testing in the United States in a single month will exceed 2 billion.” According to the current With a population of 745 million in Europe, it is estimated that the demand for new crown antigen testing in Europe in a single month will exceed 5 billion.

Just the day before yesterday, the European Union announced that 27 countries will fully lift the blockade on February 1, and travel without isolation and testing! As one of the countries with the strictest prevention and control measures in the EU, the Netherlands also recently announced that it would risk relaxing the measures. The United States no longer counts the number of new crowns! With the relaxation of epidemic prevention policies in many countries, the demand for self-test products will usher in explosive growth!

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