A new variant of coronavirus has been found, which is growing faster in some parts of England, according to British MPs.
This is because the British capital London will be put under the most difficult blockade of Tier 3 since early Wednesday to monitor the spread of the virus. The blockade will be imposed even when the UK has begun mass vaccinations for the existing COVID-19.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said at least 60 different local authorities had recorded COVID-19 infections caused by the new variant, the BBC reported on Monday.
He said the World Health Organization had been notified and that British scientists were conducting detailed studies. He said “nothing suggests” that it caused the disease worse or that vaccines would no longer work.
The official told MPs in the House of Commons that over the past week there have been sharp, exponential rises in coronavirus infections across London, Kent, parts of Essex and Hertfordshire.
“We have currently identified more than 1,000 cases with this variant mainly in the south of England although cases have been identified in almost 60 different local authority regions.
“We don’t know to what extent this is due to the new variant but no matter its cause we need to take swift and decisive action, which is unfortunately absolutely essential to controlling this deadly disease while the vaccine is being launched.”
England’s chief physician, Professor Chris Whitty, said current tests on coronavirus foraging would detect the new variant, which has been found mainly in Kent and neighboring regions in recent weeks.
The changes or mutations involve the spike protein of the virus – the part that helps it infect cells, and the target COVID-19 vaccines are projected around.
It is too early to know exactly what this will do to the behavior of the virus.
Dr. Jeremy Farrar, Director of Wellcome, said it is possibly serious. “The surveillance and research needs to continue and we need to take the necessary steps to stay ahead of the virus,” he said.