The new Covid strain appears to be up to 70 percent more transmissible, scientists have revealed. But there’s now fresh concerns that it could also be more deadly.
The new Covid variant was first spotted in the UK in December.
After Johnson ordered a second national lockdown for the duration of November, some parts of the southeast still saw Covid cases rise throughout the month.
It was later revealed that the rising cases were linked to the new Covid strain, which appeared to be more easily transmitted between the public.
But new evidence has revealed that the variant could also lead to more deaths.
The Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor, Sir Patrick Vallance, has explained that it appears the virus is slightly more deadly.
If 10 people were to die from the infection per 1,000 patients with the original virus, that may increase to 13 or 14 fatalities, he said.
The data still hasn’t been confirmed, and there is still plenty of research needed to be carried out.
But, the Government has hammered home its message that it’s crucial to follow the guidance and to stay at home.
“If you took somebody in their 60s, a man in their 60s, the average risk is that for 1,000 people who got infected, roughly 10 would be expected to unfortunately die with the virus,” said Vallance.
“With the new variant, for 1,000 people infected, roughly 13 or 14 people might be expected to die.
“So 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’ll see that across the different age groups as well; a similar sort of relative increase in risk.”
More to follow…