British health authorities have warned that the new strain of coronavirus, which has emerged mainly in London and southeast England, may spread faster than previous variants of the virus. Health advisor Chris Whitty announced earlier today that they had warned the World Health Organization (WHO) about this.
Witty is the UK Government’s chief health adviser. The discovery of the new strain was already announced on Monday. Based on preliminary analysis of the data on it, a private advisory group has found that the new strain may spread more quickly. More research should clarify this.
There is no evidence that a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 is more lethal or less preventable than new vaccines.
So British Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a meeting with his most important ministers on Saturday to see if the new alternative to the virus requires additional measures. After those consultations, Johnson announced that residents of London, southeast and eastern England would have to return to lockdown from Sunday. Travel should be as limited as possible, non-essential stores should be closed, and fitness centers should be closed. Johnson announced that people are not allowed to enter or exit areas under lockdown.
The rules regarding social contacts have also become stricter in the affected areas. Residents of London and other areas are not allowed to come into contact with people outside their homes, including at Christmas. Brits living in another, less affected area are allowed to form a “Christmas bubble” with up to three other families, but only on Christmas Day.
We can’t go ahead with Christmas as planned,” said Boris Johnson. Three days ago, the prime minister said canceling Christmas would be “inhuman”. “When the facts change, you have to change your approach,” Johnson said. According to him, the transmission speed of the new variant should not be ignored. “If the virus changes its attack style, we have to change our defence,” the prime minister said.
Viruses are constantly changing.
The new form of the virus, which provides new and stricter measures in London and southeast England, has emerged in Belgium in recent months. This is what virologist Mark Van Ranst says. Viruses are constantly changing.
According to Van Ranst, it is a “secondary” variant, which has also appeared with us in recent months. “We’ve seen 4 cases in our lab in recent months,” it seems.
“Viruses are constantly changing, and when that happens they often become more transmissible than pathogenic,” van Ranst explains. It’s not that the new alternative in England is causing additional concern. “We are particularly concerned about the increasing numbers in our country,” the virologist said.
According to him, the fact that England is adopting stricter measures is primarily a result of the huge increase in the number of cases, and not because of the new alternative.