Boris Johnson: New variant may have ‘higher degree of mortality’
Today (Friday, January 22) the Prime Minister updated the nation on the spread of coronavirus in the UK. The briefing comes as the reproduction number, or R value, of coronavirus transmission has fallen and is now estimated to be between 0.8 and 1 across the UK, according to the Government Office for Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage).
We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.
There are three major new strains of Covid-19 globally which have recently been identified, with one strain thought to have originated in the UK.
Other variants of the virus were identified in Brazil and in South Africa.
A new strain of coronavirus found in England is thought to be more infectious than previous strains of the virus.
At today’s Downing Street briefing, Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, said the strain first identified in England looks to be 30 to 70 percent more easily transmitted than the old variant.
On Friday the Prime Minister said the new variant of coronavirus in the UK may be causing more deaths.
Mr Johnson said there is “some evidence” the UK variant of coronavirus is associated with “a higher degree of mortality”.
The new strain of the virus doesn’t have a difference on age distribution, Sir Patrick said, which is similar to the original virus, meaning it can affect anyone at any age.
Sir Patrick also said the data shows the outcomes for patients in hospitals with the virus look the same for both variants of the virus.
However the data shows for all those who test positive, there is evidence there is an “increased risk” for those who have the new variant.
Sir Patrick added the evidence on the new variant is “not yet strong”, and he stressed the data is currently “uncertain”.
Sir Patrick also said evidence is growing from multiple sources that Covid vaccines will work against the UK coronavirus strain.
The chief scientific advisor told the Downing Street press conference:”There’s increasing evidence from laboratory studies that the variant in the UK will be susceptible to the vaccines.
“There’s increasing confidence coupled with a very important clinical observation that individuals who have been infected previously and have generated antibodies appear to be equally protected against original virus and new variant.”
Sir Patrick said there is greater concern about whether the vaccines will work against the South African and Brazilian strains of the virus.
This is a breaking story, refresh your browser for updates.
Source: Read Full Article