LONDON – Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson began emergency talks with his government ministers on Saturday, with scientists saying evidence suggests the new Kovid version was spreading more quickly.
Britain had now informed the World Health Organization that it had concluded that the mutant strain could spread more quickly, Professor Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, said in a statement on Saturday.
“As announced on Monday, the UK has identified a new version of the Kovid-19 through Genomic Surveillance of Public Health England,” he said, with preliminary modeling data and growing cases in the south-east of the country Discovers that “new stress can spread more quickly.”
“We have alerted the World Health Organization and are continuing to analyze available data to improve our understanding,” he said.
However, he stressed that “there is no current evidence to suggest a new strain that causes high mortality or that it affects vaccines and treatment, although immediate work is underway to confirm this.” “
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His statement came less than 24 hours after Professor Sir Mark Walport, a member of the UK Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergency, said the virus was “naturally mutated” and that a new strain “could increase transmission.”
“We know this is a new version, it has been seen in other countries, but it appears to be quite widespread which suggests that it has received a transmission advantage,” Walport told the BBC.
Millions of people in southeast England are entering the most difficult set of ‘very high alert’ coronavirus restrictions this weekend – known as ‘Tier 3’ – to deal with a growing number of infections Could.
In Tier 3, dine-in restaurants, hotels and movie theaters are closed with restrictions on socialization and travel, although stores, workplaces and schools remain mostly open.
Like other countries across the UK, concern is also increasing in Britain – Kovid is working to curb a second wave of cases and deaths, and the government needs to reduce contact restrictions for five days over the Christmas period The plan is to defend the national mood.
The British Medical Journal and Health Service Journal said in a unique joint editorial this week, “The government was too slow to enforce the ban in the spring and again in the autumn. It now revoked the decision to allow it a home mix needed.”
The government was already under intense scrutiny that many people repeat the crisis over and over again. More than 66,000 people have died – leaving Britain one of the highest per capita death tolls in the world.
With fears that the relaxation of the holiday period could lead to further growth, Johnson did not rule out the possibility of a third national lockdown for England in the new year.
“We are very hopeful that we will not be able to do anything like this. But the reality is that the rate of infection has gone up a lot in the last few weeks,” he told reporters on Friday.
Reuters contributed to this report.