Preliminary studies suggest that the SARS-CoV-2 variant detected in September in Kent, UK, could be “more deadly”, according to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The data comes from scientists from the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group, who have briefed the British Government on their findings. Previous studies had already shown that the variant is transmitted more easily than the other version.
“As well as spreading faster, there now also appears to be evidence that the new variant may be associated with a higher degree of mortality,” Johnson said, as reported by the BBC.
Currently, the variant, which has spread to more than 50 countries, is the version of the dominant virus in the United Kingdom, which has suffered a strong spike in infections attributed precisely to this circumstance.
UNITED KINGDOM TAKES 1,400 DEAD
The British Ministry of Health has updated this Friday the balance of the COVID-19 pandemic with more than 40,000 additional cases of coronavirus, a threshold that the United Kingdom has not exceeded for six days and that has accompanied about 1,400 more deaths derived from this disease , associated with the SARS-COV-2 virus.
Specifically, the health authorities have registered 3,583,907 positives, 40,261 more than on Thursday, while the number of fatalities has increased with 1,401 more deaths, to a total of 95,981 since the start of the pandemic. Some 38,500 patients are admitted to hospitals, almost 4,000 of them connected to a respirator.
The United Kingdom has tightened its measures in recent weeks due to the exponential increase in infections, which has raised the number of cases and the number of admitted to unprecedented levels. However, the effects of confinement are already being noticed and the virus’s reproduction rate ranges between 0.8 and 1, according to advisers to the Boris Johnson Executive.
The authorities of the different British territories have admitted, however, that they do not foresee a return to a minimum normality in the short term. This Friday, the head of Health of Ireland, Robin Swann, has recognized that it is “unreal” to suggest that all measures can be lifted on March 5, the date until which they are theoretically in force, reports the BBC.
In parallel, the vaccination campaign has also been accelerated, which has already reached more than 5.3 million people in a first dose. Almost 467,000 have received the second dose, according to data from the Ministry of Health.