Coronavirus: Kent variant will 'sweep the world', says top genome sequencing expert

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Feb 11, 2021, 12:54 PM(IST)

Coronavirus in UK (file photo) Photograph:( AFP )

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The variant, first detected in September 2020, has already been found in over 50 nations and was spreading wildly in the UK, causing a fresh lockdown in the region in January

As the United Kingdom scrambles to control various coronavirus variants, the chief of the UK's genetic surveillance programme has predicted that the mutation found in Kent will "sweep the world". 

Prof Sharon Peacock said that the Kent variant has "swept the country" and "it's going to sweep the world, in all probability" to BBC's Newscast podcast. 

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The variant, first detected in September 2020, has already been found in over 50 nations and was spreading wildly in the UK, causing a fresh lockdown in the region in January. 

Also read | UK finds two new mutations of coronavirus amid virus surge

"What's really affected us at the moment is transmissibility," Peacock added. 

"Once we get on top of [the virus] or it mutates itself out of being virulent - causing disease - then we can stop worrying about it. But I think, looking in the future, we're going to be doing this for years. We're still going to be doing this 10 years down the line, in my view."

However, the professor, said the current vaccines approved by the British government appeared to work well against the various variants present in the kingdom. 

In recent times, two new variants of Covid-19 were also detected in Liverpool and Bristol, prompting the UK government to curb the entry of international travellers. 

The UK is one of the worst-hit countries from Covid-19 with 115,000 deaths and officials hope that the country has gone past the virus's peak. 

Over 3.9 million cases have also been confirmed in Britain, though recently, hospitalisation numbers and death rates have declined substantially. 


 

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