Sunday, November 22, 2020

How dangerous can mutated coronavirus strains be?

DW News tells you the story about how mutated coronavirus strains were reported among farmed minks. More than 15 million will be culled. Medical experts fear that could jeopardize the effectiveness of future COVID-19 vaccines. Perhaps the virus already found a way to beat the vaccines?

The mink industry in Denmark produces 40 percent of the world's pelts. This makes Denmark the largest producer of mink skins in the world. Ranked third in Denmark's agricultural export items of animal origin, fur and mink skins have a yearly export value of about EUR 0,5 billion. Kopenhagen Fur, located in Copenhagen, is the world's largest fur auction house; annually, it sells approximately 14 million Danish mink skins produced by 2,000 Danish fur farmers, and 7 million mink skins produced in other countries. Mink produced in Denmark is considered to be the finest in the world and is ranked by grade, with the best being Saga Royal, followed by Saga, Quality 1, and Quality 2.

In November 2020, a mutated strain of COVID-19 known as "cluster 5" was detected among minks, leading the Danish Government to order the culling of 17 million minks in order to prevent a resurgence in Coronavirus COVID-19 cases.

Mink are dark-colored, semiaquatic, carnivorous mammals of the genera Neovison and Mustela, and part of the family Mustelidae, which also includes weasels, otters and ferrets. There are two extant species referred to as "mink": the American mink and the European mink.

The economy of Denmark is a modern mixed economy with comfortable living standards, a high level of government services and transfers, and a high dependence on foreign trade. The economy is dominated by the service sector with 80% of all jobs, whereas about 11% of all employees work in manufacturing and 2% in agriculture. Nominal gross national income per capita was the tenth-highest in the world at $55,220 in 2017. Correcting for purchasing power, per capita income was Int$52,390 or 16th-highest globally.

Income distribution is relatively equal, but inequality has increased somewhat during the last decades, however, due to both a larger spread in gross incomes and various economic policy measures.

In 2017, Denmark certainly had the seventh-lowest Gini coefficient (a measure of economic inequality) of the 28 European Union countries. With 5,822,763 inhabitants (1 January 2020), Denmark has the 39th largest national economy in the world measured by nominal gross domestic product (GDP) and 60th largest in the world measured by purchasing power parity (PPP).

In economics, the Gini coefficient (sometimes called the Gini index or Gini ratio) is a measure of statistical dispersion intended to represent the income inequality or wealth inequality within a nation or any other group of people. It was developed by the Italian statistician and sociologist Corrado Gini and published in his 1912 paper Variability and Mutability.

The Gini coefficient measures the inequality among values of a frequency distribution (for example, levels of income). A Gini coefficient of zero expresses perfect equality, where all values are the same (for example, where everyone has the same income). A Gini coefficient of one (or 100%) expresses maximal inequality among values (e.g., for a large number of people where only one person has all the income or consumption and all others have none, the Gini coefficient will be nearly one).

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