British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a media briefing on Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Downing Street, London, England, on 15 January 2021.
Dominic Lipinski | Getty Images
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that “some evidence” of a new Kovid variant identified in London could be more fatal than before.
“Today we have been informed that in addition to spreading more quickly, it now appears that there is some evidence that the new version – the variant that was first discovered in London and the South-East (of England) – is one of May be associated with high levels of mortality, ”Johnson told a news conference.
He said that all the evidence suggests that vaccines from Pfizer-BioNotech and AstraZeneca-Oxford University, two currently in use in the UK, are effective against both old and new types of the virus.
The evidence is still at an early stage and is being evaluated by the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group, which advises the British Government.
The variant, known as B.1.1.7, has an unusually high number of mutations and was already associated with more efficient and faster transmission.
Scientists first detected the mutation in September. Since then, concern has been found in at least 44 countries including the US, which has a presence in 12 states.
Last week, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention warned that the trajectory of the variant’s model in the US “exhibits rapid growth in early 2021, becoming the flagship version in March.”
Speaking with Johnson on Friday, the UK’s chief scientific adviser Patrick Valence said that there is now an increased risk for people with the new version than the old virus, there is early evidence.
“If you took … a man in his sixties, the average risk is that for the 1,000 people who got infected, about 10 would unfortunately be expected to die with the virus. With the new version, 1,000 For people, who are about 13 or infected. People can expect to die, “he said.
—CNBC’s Sam Meredith contributed to this article.