New variant of coronavirus identified in UK; London in tier 3 lockdown

WION Web Team
London, United Kingdom Published: Dec 14, 2020, 09:53 PM(IST)

The novel coronavirus Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The UK has already notified the World Health Organization about the new variant and scientists have started investigating the new revelation

As the UK started vaccinating the masses for the existing novel coronavirus, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced on Monday that a new variant of the deadly virus has been identified in the country.

Hancock, on Monday, reported at least 60 different local authorities have seen coronavirus infections which stem out of a new and unidentified variant.

"Over the last few days, thanks to our world-class genomic capability in the UK, we have identified a new variant of coronavirus which may be associated with the faster spread in the South of England," Hancock said.

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The UK has already notified the World Health Organization about the new variant and scientists have started investigating the new revelation.

As of now, it has not shown any symptoms of being a worse disease and the experts are hoping the vaccines will be able to protect people against the new variant of COVID-19 too. However, the new variant is growing at a faster rate. "Initial analysis suggests that this variant is growing faster than the existing variants," he said.

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The announcement was made Hancock in the House of Commons in presence of other MPs. Hancock also reported that majority cases have been identified in the South of England.

"We've currently identified over 1,000 cases with this variant predominantly in the South of England although cases have been identified in nearly 60 different local authority area," he said.

"We do not know the extent to which this is because of the new variant but no matter its cause we have to take swift and decisive action which unfortunately is absolutely essential to control this deadly disease while the vaccine is rolled out."

In addition to this, with a surge in cases, the capital city London has been marked in Tier 3 lockdown with immediate effect to contain the wide spread of the deadly virus. The news has come almost a week after the UK approved usage of Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19 for the masses.

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