BRITISH scientists have discovered a brand new pressure of coronavirus which is as much as 70 per cent extra transmissible than the unique virus.
Boris Johnson says it was behind a surge in Covid-19 instances and hospitalisations — and why strict Tier 4 guidelines have been being imposed within the South East and East of England in addition to London.
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A terrifying new pressure is sweeping by way of the UKCredit score: AFP or licensors
The place has the brand new pressure of Covid come from?
The brand new pressure’s scientific title is VUI 202012/01, with VUI standing for Variant Below Investigation.
Basically, the mutant strain‘s origins are nonetheless being probed by Public Well being England laboratories at Porton Down, Wiltshire.
With no concrete proof to date explaining how and the place it comes from, it could actually solely be assumed to have emerged in England — as a result of that was the place many of the recognized instances have been initially reported.
Scientists consider it mutated inside a Covid affected person’s physique.
However it was unknown if that individual had travelled to the UK or lived there.
Nonetheless, exterior the UK, 9 instances of the brand new pressure have been reported in Denmark, in addition to one case within the Netherlands and one other in Australia, in accordance with the Phrase Well being Organisation (WHO).
The query is how and the place did these sufferers catch the bug?
One other risk is that it has come by way of a customer from a rustic, the place the mutated bug could also be rife, however has to date not been detected?
Why is the brand new pressure of Covid extra contagious?
The brand new Covid pressure is alleged to be round 70 per cent extra infectious than its unique kind and has sparked rocketing case numbers throughout London and the South East.
The variety of new UK infections on Sunday, December 20 — the date the Tier 4 lockdown got here into pressure — was at an all-time excessive for recorded instances and was almost double the 18,447 instances reported per week in the past.
Why is the brand new pressure spreading quicker?
Porton Down scientist stated the brand new pressure features a mutation within the spike protein that will make the virus extra infectious.
As he introduced the brand new Tier 4 measures, Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated: “With out motion the proof means that infections would soar, hospitals would develop into overwhelmed and plenty of 1000’s extra would lose their lives.
“Sure Christmas this 12 months will likely be completely different, very completely different.
“We’re sacrificing the prospect to see our family members this Christmas in order that we’ve got a greater likelihood of defending their lives, in order that we will see them at future Christmases.”
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks throughout a information convention in response to the continuing state of affairsCredit score: Getty – Pool