New coronavirus variant recognized in England, well being secretary says
By Siobhán O’Grady and William Booth
Britain has recognized a brand new variant of the novel coronavirus, Health Secretary Matt Hancock stated Monday, noting that it “may be associated with the faster spread in the south of England.”
Officials have linked greater than 1,000 instances to the variant, in keeping with an preliminary evaluation, and “numbers are increasing rapidly,” Hancock stated.
“I must stress at this point that there is currently nothing to suggest that this variant is more likely to cause serious disease, and the latest clinical advice is that it’s highly unlikely that this mutation would fail to respond to a vaccine,” he stated. “But it shows we’ve got to be vigilant and follow the rules and everyone needs to take personal responsibility not to spread this virus.”
Hancock’s announcement got here days after the primary Brits have been inoculated with vaccines to counter the virus.
Last month, the World Health Organization published guidance on virus mutations, noting that it “is normal for viruses to change” and that the majority such adjustments “have little to no impact on the virus’ properties.”
Hancock stated Monday that the brand new variant is being analyzed and that officers will know extra about it “as the new strand is cultured.”
At a Downing Street information convention, England’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, stated that the variant wanted watching and research however that mutations have been to be anticipated.
“It would be surprising, not impossible but surprising, if this had evolved to be able to get around the vaccine,” Whitty stated.
There isn’t any proof that the variant makes individuals sicker, he stated, and the mutated virus can nonetheless be detected by checks getting used now.