British doctors have identified a new variant of the coronavirus, which is possibly more quickly transmitted from person to person, Health Minister Matt Hancock said in a speech in parliament. According to him, infections with this new strain of coronavirus are noted in hospitals in 60 districts of Britain.
Now, he said, the strain is being studied in a military laboratory at Porton Down, near Salisbury. The World Health Organization has already been warned about the new strain, the minister added.
At the same time, as Hancock said, experts believe that promising vaccines against coronavirus will work successfully on the new strain.
“We have identified about a thousand cases of this variant, mainly in the south of England,” he said.
This prevalence of the new strain of the virus may be because it spreads faster between people, Hancock added. However, for now, experts cannot say for sure.
Also, according to him, there is no indication that those infected with the new strain will have more severe disease.
“Whatever the reason, we must take decisive action quickly. Unfortunately, this is absolutely necessary in order to keep this deadly disease under control, ”the minister said.
London has been assigned the third (highest) category of epidemiological threat due to a sharp jump in the incidence in the British capital.
The decision was made after a briefing by the country’s Minister of Health Matt Hancock.
He warned that the situation in the city was rapidly deteriorating and urged the government not to wait until Wednesday, which was scheduled to review the classification of the country’s districts regularly. Along with London, some areas of Essex and Hertfordshire also fell into the third category.
Since the end of the recent lockdown on December 2, Britain has been divided into three categories: Medium Threat, High, and Highest. Based on this, restrictive measures of varying degrees of severity were retained in different regions.
Then London was in the second category: people could meet in pubs and restaurants, a significant part of shops and establishments were open. An increase in the level of threat means the closure of catering establishments; they will continue to work only to take out or through delivery services.
It will be possible to meet in open spaces with companies not exceeding six people. You cannot host guests.
Earlier, the authorities wanted to leave the so-called “Christmas window” between December 23-27, so that the British could celebrate the holidays with family and friends. Now, these plans will have to be abandoned.