Coronavirus: What we know about the UK's new Covid strain

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Dec 21, 2020, 02.07 PM(IST)

File photo Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Several countries have banned flights from the UK over fears about a new coronavirus variant that has forced millions of people in Britain to cancel their Christmas plans.

The British government on December 19 alerted the World Health Organisation about a new variant of the coronavirus that the Prime Minister said maybe “up to 70 per cent” more transmissible than earlier strains.

The new strain – now officially named VUI-202012/01 – showed a “substantial increase in transmissibility”. 

Over 60 per cent of new infections in London were now accounted for by the new variant.

However, "there's no evidence to suggest it is more lethal or causes more severe illness," or that vaccines would be less effective against it, he said.

Several countries have banned flights from the UK over fears about a new coronavirus variant that has forced millions of people in Britain to cancel their Christmas plans.

The new strain first occurred in September in the South East London and by November, it accounted for 28 per cent of all new Covid infections in the capital, rising to 62 per cent by December 9.

According to the reports, it has also spread to at least three other countries.
According to the WHO, apart from UK, nine cases of the new strain have been reported in Denmark, as well as one case in the Netherlands and another in Australia.

WHO has also advised all its members in Europe to step up measures against coronavirus. 

In response to the surge, Boris Johnson announced a stay at home order for the British capital and southeast England, until at least December 30, to slow the spread of the disease.

(With inputs from agencies)

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