MATT Hancock will make a statement on Covid to the Commons today amid fears a new mutation could delay Boris Johnson’s roadmap to freedom.
The Health Secretary will address MPs at 3.30pm over concerns of an Indian variant of the deadly bug.
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Officials are looking into whether the variant could spread more easily and evade vaccines.
And while there’s not yet enough data to classify it as a “variant of concern”, a reported 160 cases have so far been found in the UK – some of which aren’t yet linked to travel.
India isn’t on the UK’s ‘red list’, meaning those arriving from the country don’t have to comply with hotel quarantines.
But Danny Altmann, professor of immunology at Imperial College London, said he expects the country to soon be added to the list.
He told Good Morning Britain: “I am concerned about all the variants.
“I think our roadmap is going well and at the moment, in this country, we are doing rather well, enjoying unlocking – but out there there is the Indian variant, the South African, Brazilian etc, and they do pose a threat.”
He said that some people in the population are still vulnerable who can “still be caught out by variants like this”.
Prof Altmann added: “At the moment, this particular variant (from India) is called a variant under investigation, not a variant of concern because it hasn’t been escalated to that level yet.
“My assumption from everything I’ve seen is that it will become a variant of concern.
“When it becomes a variant of concern, I’d be quite surprised if India wasn’t on the red list.”
More to follow…
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