UK – Indian Covid19 variant could be more transmissible
British scientists now believe that the coronavirus variant originating in India is more transmissible than a variant first found in the English county of Kent, Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer said.
“There is now confidence that this variant is more transmissible that B.1.1.7 (Kent variant), now the question in practical terms over the next two to three weeks is is this somewhat more transmissible than B.1.1.7. or is this a lot more transmissible”
The thorn in the plans is the variant of coronavirus that emerged in India – B.1.617.2 – and has started spreading around the world. Concerns have been mounting over the past week and, for the first time, the scientists advising the UK government are now confident it does spread more easily. The expectation is the variant will edge out the one that emerged in Kent and eventually “dominate” cases in the UK.
The health ministry said the B1.617.2 variant is “beginning to spread increasingly rapidly” in northwest England and to a lesser extent in London, “and decisive action is being taken to further control its spread”. Second doses of vaccines will be accelerated for the over-50s and the clinically vulnerable in a bid to keep the strain at bay, Johnson told the press briefing.