The British variant of the coronavirus, considered much more contagious, may also be associated with higher mortality, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday. “There now also appears to be some indication that the new variant, the one first identified in London and the south-east (of England), may be associated with increased mortality.“, he assured at a press conference in London.
In the case of a man in his 60s, mortality in the country was previously 10 patients per 1,000 patients and currently it would be between 13 and 14 per 1,000, explained the chief scientific adviser to the executive, Patrick Vallance. However, he wanted to “emphasize that there is a lot of uncertainty around these figures.”
“It is worrying that there has been an increase in mortality, as well as an increase in transmissibility,” he said. The country worst hit in Europe by the pandemic, with almost 96,000 confirmed deaths from covid-19, the United Kingdom faces a new wave of infections since the discovery in December of a coronavirus mutation between 50% and 70% more contagious according to scientists British. Until now, health authorities had said that the new variant did not seem any deadlier and reacted correctly to existing vaccines.
‘It is worrying that there has been an increase in mortality, as well as an increase in transmissibility’
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“All current evidence continues to show that the two vaccines we currently use are still effective against both the old variant and this new variant,” Johnson said Friday. After becoming the first Western country to launch a mass vaccination campaign against COVID-19 on 8 December, the UK has already inoculated 5.4 million people with the vaccines developed by Pfizer / BioNTech and AstraZeneca / Oxford.
Johnson’s executive, widely criticized since the beginning of the pandemic for his erratic policies in health matters, has now placed all his hopes on vaccination to be able to lift, as of March, the third lockdown in which the country is plunged.
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