New Covid-19 Variant Strikes UK. More than 1,000 cases of the new strain of the virus have been reported in the south of England. “Thanks to our world-class genomic capability in the UK, we have identified a new variant of coronavirus which may be associated with the faster spread in our nation,” UK’s Health Secretary said.
The World Health Organization on Monday confirmed the presence of the new variant of the Covid 19 virus. But, as of now, not even the faintest idea is there to suggest if the mutation might affect the effectiveness of vaccines or make the virus more lethal, WHO Health Emergencies Programme Executive Director Mike Ryan said.
“We have 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,” the country’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock informed the House of Commons in the UK, according to BBC.
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As of now, the authorities too hope that the vaccines will be able to safeguard people against the new strain of COVID-19 and no symptoms of being a worse disease are to be found. However, “Initial analysis suggests that this variant is growing faster than the existing variants,” Hancock explicated.
On top of that, with a rapid avalanche in cases, the capital city London has been labelled in Tier 3 lockdown with instantaneous effect to contain the widespread. UK approved the usage of the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19 for the masses and a decision to impose tier-3 restrictions across the country from Wednesday midnight has been implemented.
“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 essential to control this deadly disease while the vaccine is rolled out,” he explained.
“Will it make this virus more serious,” Ryan questioned at a virtual press conference. “Does it allow the virus to transmit more easily or Does it in any way interfere with diagnostics? Would it in any way interfere with vaccine effectiveness? None of these questions have been addressed yet, and we have no information to suggest that any of that is the case.”
Towards the end, the Covid-19 Technical Lead Maria Van kerkhove stressed at “So far, we don’t have any evidence that this variant behaves differently, But we shall continue to evaluate and inform you of any changes.”