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English variant could be more deadly, according to Boris Johnson

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The coronavirus variant “may be linked to a higher degree of mortality,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday. The government’s scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance, also spoke of a “concern” on this subject, while calling for caution in the face of figures which still need to be confirmed.

We knew it to be more contagious, it could also be more deadly than Covid-19. Boris Johnson announced this possibility on Friday, January 22, concerning the English variant of the coronavirus, currently present in about sixty countries.

This variant, which is transmitted 30 to 70% more easily, is believed to be responsible for the severity of the second wave of epidemics underway in the United Kingdom.

“It also now appears that there is some evidence that the new variant, the variant that was first identified in London, and in the south-east (of England), may be related to a higher degree mortality, “Boris Johnson said at a press conference in Downing Street.

For men in their 60s, the risk of mortality reaches 13 to 14 in 1,000 with the new variant, compared with 10 in 1,000 with the previous form of the virus, compared the government’s scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance. .

“I want to stress that there is a lot of uncertainty around these figures”, qualified Patrick Vallance, but there is a “concern that there has been an increase in mortality as well as an increase in transmissibility “.

Other “more worrying” variants

Studies are underway around the world to determine the reasons for this increased contagiousness.

Other variants, including one initially detected in South Africa, are also worrying the international community. “They have certain characteristics which make them less sensitive to vaccines” and are “more worrying” than the English variant, said Patrick Vallance.

The most bereaved country in Europe by the pandemic with nearly 96,000 dead (+ 1,401 in the last 24 hours), the United Kingdom has reconfigured for the third time to try to stem a new wave of the epidemic , attributed to this much more contagious variant.

A mass vaccination campaign was launched, and 5.4 million people received a first dose of vaccine, of which 400,000 were vaccinated in the last 24 hours, a record.

Despite the confinement, the Covid-19 weighs on hospitals

The effects of containment appear to be being felt as the number of cases is declining and the rate of reproduction of the virus is also declining.

According to the National Statistics Office, the ONS, one in 55 people in England had Covid-19 between January 10 and 16, down from the estimate of one in 50 infected people between December 27 and January 2.

Hospitals are however under pressure, with 38,562 hospitalized Covid-19 patients, a figure 78% higher than during the first peak in April, said Boris Johnson.

>> Read also: Covid-19: chaos in British hospitals, a predictable fiasco?

In light of these elements, the government has repeated its instructions to the British, and is launching a new campaign on Friday evening to implore them to stay at home.

The government has also tightened sanctions against containment violators. Police disrupted a wedding of some 400 guests at a school in London on Thursday evening, fining participants.

With AFP and Reuters

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