UK strain likely to go dominant in the world
The variant of the coronavirus that first emerged in the U.K. has since been identified in over 80 countries. It could become the dominant form of the virus worldwide, according to the head of the U.K.’s virus surveillance program.
“The new variant has swept the country and it’s going to sweep the world, in all probability,” said Sharon Peacock, director of the Covid-19 Genomics UK Consortium. “What’s concerning about this is that the 1.1.7 variant that we have had circulating for some weeks and months is beginning to mutate again and get new mutations which could affect the way that we handle the virus in terms of immunity and effectiveness of vaccines” Peacock told BBC.
Earlier on Tuesday, the United Kingdom introduced a series of enhanced new measures for travellers entering its borders, including fines of up to 10,000 pounds and a 10-year jail term for the most extreme breaches of quarantine rules from a “red list” of countries perceived as being at a high risk of transmitting variants of coronavirus.