England, United Kingdom – Englands Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock has said at least 60 different local authorities had recorded Covid infections caused by the newly discovered variant.
He added that while the World Health Organization had been notified and UK scientists were doing detailed studies, there was “nothing to suggest” that the new variant resulted in worse symptoms or that vaccines would no longer work.
Speaking at the House of Commons, he informed Members of Parliament that over the last week, there had been sharp, exponential rises in coronavirus infections across London, Kent, parts of Essex and Hertfordshire and that over 1,000 cases with this variant were identified mainly in the South of England, although cases have been identified by nearly 60 different local authority areas.
“We do not know the extent to which this is because of the new variant but no matter its cause we have to take swift and decisive action which unfortunately is absolutely essential to control this deadly disease while the vaccine is rolled out.” Said Matt
Mutations are not always necessarily a bad thing. Every virus mutates because, when it makes contact with a host, it replicates to infect other cells. RNA viruses such as coronavirus are more prone to slight changes happening as the replication phases.
Mutations sometimes make the virus weaker. But in other cases, they make the virus more infectious or cause more serious illness. This latest mutation found in the UK appears to have increased infectiousness.
Some UK health officials have said to keep a calm and rational perspective on the new strain and while others say it might be potentially serious, and urged surveillance and research on the new mutation.