(File photo) Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson Photograph:( Reuters )
Britain is currently experiencing third and worst wave of coronavirus pandemic
UK Prime Minister on Friday said that there was 'some evidence' that the new coronavirus variant in the UK was more transmissible and more deadly.
"It also now appears that there is some evidence that the new variant... may be associated with a higher degree of mortality," he said at a Downing Street news conference.
Chief government scientist Patrick Vallance said the new variant could be around 30 per cent more deadly, although he stressed that only sparse data was available.
He said that for a 60-year-old man, around 10 in 1,000 would be expected to die after catching the original strain.
But that rises to "13 or 14" for the new strain.
"You will see that across the different age groups as well, a similar sort of relative increase in the risk," he added.
Britain is currently experiencing third and worst wave of coronavirus pandemic. It is recording a record daily death toll that is bringing the total figure close to 100,000.
Another 1,401 people were announced on Friday to have died within 28 days of testing positive, bringing the total to 95,981.
More than 38,500 people were in hospital with Covid -- 78 per cent more than during the first peak last year.
On average, one in 55 people have got the virus in England, rising to one in 35 in London, said chief medical officer Chris Whitty.
Hospitals are still under the threat of being overwhelmed even as government races to vaccinate as many vulnerable people as possible. Vallance said there was "increasing evidence" that the AstraZeneca/Oxford and Pfizer vaccines being used in Britain were both effective against the new strain.
(With AFP inputs)