UK Covid-19 variant proves to be more deadly

Photo: EPA Boris Johnson

The so called English variant of Covid-19 proves to be more contagious and with higher lethal power, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, quoted by Reuters. Johnson noted that it was possible to link the new variant with higher rate of mortality but elaborated that both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines proved to be effective. The new variant proves to be a challenge for Britain health system as it is transmitted easier.

“We’ve been informed that in addition to spreading more quickly, it also now appears that there is some evidence that the new variant - the variant that was first discovered in London and the southeast of England - may be associated with a higher degree of mortality,” Johnson told a news briefing. Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance noted that the evidence about mortality levels was “not yet strong”, and came from a “series of different bits of information”, stressing there was great uncertainty around the data. He said that once people reached hospital, there was no greater risk, but there were signs that people who had the UK variant were at more risk overall. “There’s no real evidence of an increase in mortality for those in hospital. However, when data are looked at in terms of those who’ve been tested positive... there is evidence that there’s an increased risk for those who have the new variant, compared to the old virus,” he said. He also elaborated that for a man in his sixties, the average risk was that 10 in 1,000 people who got infected would be expected to die, but that this rose to roughly 13 or 14 people in 1,000 with the new variant.

“I want to stress that there’s a lot of uncertainty around these numbers and we need more work to get a precise handle on it,” he said. “But it obviously is a concern that this has an increase in mortality as well as an increase in transmissibility.”

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