A new strain of coronavirus is found in Britain. Matt Hancock, British Health Secretary, briefed the media about the latest variant of the virus, which has been mutated and linked to South Africa. Last week, the health department of South Africa discovered a new mutation of the virus, which could be the reason for the recent surge in the cases registered by the country. Addressing the media, Hancock said that they had discovered two new cases of coronavirus variant in the UK, and both of these were in contact with cases who traveled back from South Africa lately.
The UK is currently struggling to contain the spread of the infection caused by this new variant of the virus, which is around 70% more transmissible than the original virus. Various studies are already underway to know more about the exact behavior and impact of this new variant of the coronavirus on humans.
Hancock said that this was a matter of great concern as the mutated virus was highly transmissible and had mutated further from the new variant found in the UK. He further added that all those who were in close contact with new cases or people who had been to South Africa in the last 15 days must quarantine. The country has already put curbs on travel from South Africa in an attempt to stop the further spread of the virus.
Elaborating on the social restrictions, Hancock said that many areas from South England would be added to the list of regions where the highest level of restrictions would be imposed from December 26. This will be an addition to the existing number of 16 million people already facing the highest level of Tier 4 lockdown. The country also plans to implement tighter restrictions in other areas that are currently in lower tiers.
According to Hancock, all these restrictions are required to curb the resurgence of infections caused by this new strain of the virus. On Wednesday, the country recorded its highest tally of infections (around 40,000) and deaths (744) in a single day since April this year.