A New Variant Of Coronavirus That Spreads Much Faster Has Been Picked Up In People Across At Least 60 Different Local Authorities In UK.
A new variant of coronavirus that spreads much faster has been picked up in people across at least 60 different local authorities in the UK. Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed the news in parliament overnight and said there was “nothing to suggest” it caused worse disease or that vaccines – that are already being rolled out to millions in the UK – would no longer work. “The latest clinical advice is that it’s highly unlikely this mutation would fail to respond to a vaccine,” he said. He said the World Health Organization had been told about the discovery and UK scientists were doing in-depth studies. “We’ve currently identified over 1000 cases with this variant predominantly in the South of England although cases have been identified in nearly 60 different local authority areas,” he said.
‘New variant’ of COVID spreading in UK
UK Health Minister Matt Hancock has said a new variant of coronavirus has been identified in London and the south-east of the UK that could be associated with a faster spread. Mr Hancock said at least 60 different local authorities have recorded the strain in over 1000 cases. The World Health Organisation had been notified, he said, but warned there was “nothing to suggest” it caused a worse version of the disease or vaccines would not work.
“We’ve currently identified over 1,000 cases with this variant predominantly in the South of England although cases have been identified in nearly 60 different local authority areas,” he told MPs on Wednesday. “We do not know the extent to which this is because of the new variant but no matter its cause we have to take swift and decisive action which unfortunately is absolutely essential to control this deadly disease while the vaccine is rolled out.”
“We do not know the extent to which this is because of the new variant but no matter its cause we have to take swift and decisive action which unfortunately is absolutely essential to control this deadly disease while the vaccine is rolled out.” Many of the areas of the South of England – like London, Kent, parts of Essex and Hertfordshire – where the new strain has been picked up have seen sharp rises in cases in recent days. Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director of Wellcome, said it was potentially serious. “The surveillance and research must continue and we must take the necessary steps to stay ahead of the virus,” he said.
England left a national lockdown on December 2 to move to a new set of regional tiered restrictions, however the capital has been moved back under harsh measures after less than two weeks following a surge in cases. On Monday it was announced London as well as parts of Essex and Herefordshire would enter tier three restrictions that will see restaurants and bars have to close the week before Christmas. Mayor Sadiq Khan is also calling for schools to close early following a rise in cases among 10-19 year olds. It comes after pictures showed central London’s streets crowded with shoppers, raising fears that cases seeded over the Christmas period could fuel a new third wave of the virus in early 2021.
This news was originally published at Courier Mail