In a new development, the authorities in the United Kingdom have warned against the emergence of a new strain of the Wuhan Coronavirus.
As per reports, the authorities have conceded that the virus has gone ‘out of control’ in the UK. “Unfortunately the new strain was out of control. We have got to get it under control,” informed UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock. The new variant, discovered in September, is said to be 70% more transmissible than its counterpart.
“There is no current evidence to suggest (it) causes a higher mortality rate or that it affects vaccines and treatments, although urgent work is underway to confirm this, “chief medical officer Chris Whitty emphasised. A notification was thus issued by the Public Health England on Friday to the UK government after modelling the said virus strain. The new strain has reportedly been discovered in South Africa, Denmark, Netherlands and Australia.
UK imposes 4 levels of lockdown
In a bid to contain the spread of the new strain of Coronavirus, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced new, four-tier restrictions in London and south-east England. As such, Johnson, who had been insistent on easing Coronavirus guidelines for Christmas, had to do away with his plans. Reportedly, people in tier 4 areas in England can now celebrate Christmas only with their close family members.
Similarly, plans of allowing ‘Christian bubbles’ between December 23-27 has now been re-changed to only December 25. At the same time, a travel ban has been put in place for commuters, willing to travel between Scotland and England, during Christmas. Restrictions, imposed by the UK government, are however subject to the spread of the new strain of Coronavirus.
The Indian Health Ministry has called for an urgent meet of the joint monitoring group on Monday to discuss the new strain found in the UK.
European countries ban flights to and from UK
Last week, Europe surpassed over 5 lac fatalities due to the Coronavirus pandemic since last year. With the new discovery, it has given way to fears surrounding more deaths. On Sunday morning, the Netherlands banned flights from the UK from entering the country. Belgium has called for a 24-hour ban on both flights and trains from Sunday midnight onwards, arriving from the UK, to contain the outbreak of the pandemic.
Similarly, Italy, Germany and Austria have been working on stopping flights coming from Britain. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, and EU chiefs Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel have held a meeting on Sunday to discuss the matter. Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has asked all European nations to strengthen their measures.