Novel coronavirus, found in Britain, may have a 30% higher fatality rate

A novel coronavirus variant found in the UK linked to the rapid spread of Covid-19 may also cause a greater risk of death, the prime minister said.
The data showed that the new strain appeared to be about 30 percent more lethal.
The full text is edited as follows:

Speaking at a press conference at 10 Downing Street, Boris Johnson said: “There is evidence that the new variant may be associated with higher death rates.

Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, said data from hospital patients showed the relevant results were the same for those infected with the new and old strains.
But for people who test positive for the new crown, there is evidence that people infected with the new variant are at greater risk of dying than people infected with the original virus.

The data have been assessed by scientists from the Advisory Group on New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats, which briefed the government ahead of the meeting.
All the evidence is preliminary, and Vallance stressed that the data are “inconclusive” at the moment.
The data showed that the new strain appeared to be about 30 percent more lethal.
Of those infected with the original strain of the virus, 10 out of every 1,000 people could die, Vallance said.
In the case of the new variant strain in the UK, about 13 or 14 people out of 1,000 are likely to die.
He added that the phenomenon was seen across age groups.

Johnson said more than 38,000 people are now being treated in hospitals across Britain, a figure 78 percent higher than at the peak of the first wave of the epidemic.
He said more than 40,000 people had been infected with Covid-19 in the past 24 hours and the National Health Service was under “severe pressure”.
This week the UK recorded its highest number of Covid-19 deaths since the outbreak began, with 1,820 deaths a day.
There are now more than 95,000 Covid-19 deaths in the UK.

A reporter asked if Johnson expects the current death rate in Britain to increase more sharply, given the new information about the mutated virus found in the country.
Johnson said he sadly thought it would be “not too long before this happens.”

So far, Britain has vaccinated more than 5.3 million people, Johnson said, with 400,000 vaccinated in the past 24 hours.
Vallance said there was “growing confidence” and that clinical data showed the new crown vaccine was equally effective in providing protection against the original virus as well as the new variant.

He added that there was “greater concern” about the sensitivity of the mutated virus in South Africa and Brazil to the vaccine, which is being investigated in laboratories around the world.
The new strain was first detected in Kent, southeast England, in September 2020.
Since then, it has become the dominant strain in England and Northern Ireland and has spread to more than 50 other countries.

A variant of the virus, called VOC 202012/01 or B.1.1.7, is now present in at least 20 states, according to the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *