Johnson: "British" strain of coronavirus is deadlier than others

25 Janvier, 2021, 21:05 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a coronavirus press conference at 10 Downing Street in London Friday Jan. 22 2021. Johnson announced that the new variant of COVID-19 which was first discovered in the south of England may be

The British Prime Minister clarified that the death rate from the new strain of coronavirus, compared to the "old" strain of Covid-19, is 30% higher.

Medley co-wrote a report by Nervtag that concluded there was a realistic possibility the new strain was linked to an increased risk of death, but said the news was not a "game-changer".

Dr. Francis S. Collins, director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, said on MSNBC on Saturday that the variant could be increasing deaths in Britain simply because it is more contagious, spreading so rapidly that it is overwhelming the British health system. Future challenges include new strains of coronavirus. "Already we know this variant has increased transmission, and so this is more very bad news".

The World health organization lead on COVID-19 Maria Vanker Khove also stated that the studies initiated to have a deeper look at the transmission and seriousness of the new variant found. The average daily death rate has been more than 1,000 for at least a week.

The evidence for the new variant being more deadly is in a paper prepared by a group of scientists that advises the government on new respiratory viruses, based on several studies. For more on the B.1.1.7. strain, read here.

Only 195 cases of the new variant have been spotted in the United States so far, according to the CDC, but public health officials believe many more cases are going undetected.

There is a lag in reporting hospitalizations after infection, and a further lag from infection to death, so officials expect to learn more in several weeks.

"That's the sort of change for that sort of age group, an increase from 10 to 13 or 14 out of 1,000 and you will see that across the different age groups as well, a similar sort of relative increase in the risk", he added.

Experts say the current vaccines should be effective against it.

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Concerns about newly identified variants have triggered a spate of new travel restrictions around the world. But some - as with the virus variants that emerged recently in Britain, South Africa and Brazil - can give the virus a decisive new advantage.

She added further work was required to decide whether, as Johnson said, it could be correlated with "a higher degree of mortality".

"There are some limitations in the data so we need to be cautious with the interpretations but it is important that people understand that we are looking at this and this may be true", he said.

He said the variant does not kill more people who end up in the hospital but does result in more deaths among everybody who tested positive for the virus.

The U.K.is now in a lockdown in an attempt to slow the latest surge of the coronavirus outbreak.

Mr Johnson, who has often been accused of giving overly optimistic predictions about relaxing coronavirus restrictions, sounded gloomy.

Johnson warned that, despite the efficacy of the vaccines "we will have to live with coronavirus in one way or another for a long time to come".

Prof Lawrence Young, Virologist and Professor of Molecular Oncology, Warwick Medical School, said more information was needed "before jumping to firm conclusions". "It's going to be around, probably, forever".

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