Sheffield news What are the Covid variants in the UK - including Indian, Brazil, South African PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - The Government is monitoring infection rates as the vaccination rollout continues, ahead of rule changes later this month.
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Prime Minister Boris Johnson has spoken about the impact coronavirus variants will have on infection rates, as the UK prepares for lockdown easing on May 17. Cases of the Indian variant in particular - despite the success of the vaccine rollout - seem to be increasing across the country. While restriction easing plans have not officially changed, many are wondering exactly what the covid variants are, and how they develop. So, which coronavirus mutations can be found in the UK? What are the Covid variants in the UK? The Indian variant There are multiple coronavirus variants in the UK, but it’s the Indian variant that is causing the most alarm at the moment - specifically, variant B.1.617.2. According to the World Health Organisation, it’s been detected in 44 countries worldwide, raising concerns about another global wave. Cases of the Indian variant are prevalent in London and the north west of England In the UK, it currently seems to be localised in London, where 30% of cases are. The north west of England is also reporting a high number in places like Greater Manchester, Sefton, Bolton, Blackburn with Darwen and Hyndburn. Some cases have been detected in Newcastle and Tyneside, and cases in Scotland seem mainly to be in the Midlothian local authority. Public Health England have said 1,313 cases have been detected overall in the UK, the vast majority of which (1,255) are in England. Four people have died with a positive test for the Indian variant. Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi has suggested that decreasing the amount of time between the first and second vaccinations for people in affected areas might help reduce the infection rate. The Brazil variant The Brazil variant was first identified in December, and has spread to 10 other countries, including the UK. Vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi has suggested changes to the rollout in high-risk areas (Image: PA) Like the other variants, it’s mutated so new protein spikes appear on the surface of the virus. It’s thought that existing vaccines offer immunity to this variant, though, so as the vaccine rollout continues across the UK, there isn’t expected to be an increase in case numbers.
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. The South Africa variant There’s no evidence that the South Africa variant causes a more serious illness for those infected with it, but it does seem to be slightly more contagious. 20 other countries, including Japan, Austria and Norway, have reported instances. Currently, not enough testing has been done to determine the impact this variant will have on the vaccination programme. However,it’s thought that the changes to the protein shape may evade some antibodies in the jabs currently available. The UK/Kent variant This is extremely prevalent in Britain, with over 200,000 cases identified.
Travel is currently limited to a few countries.
(Image: Matthew Horwood)
Worryingly, it seems to be mutating again - meaning that stopping it could be even more difficult. It’s spread to over 50 countries, too, and has been cited as a reason for limiting travel worldwide. While Portugal, Australia and Singapore are on the government’s green list of countries Brits can visit this summer, other tourist destinations like Spain remain off-limits. Should we be worried about Covid variants? While changes to the original strain of coronavirus are worrying, health experts are keen to stress that they are expected. As the vaccination programme in the UK continues, the number of cases is dropping dramatically - down from a high of 68,000 new cases earlier this year to around 2100.
Test kits are available for free via the NHS.
(Image: Daily Mirror/Andy Stenning)
Those over-38 can currently receive their first dose, and nearly 29% of the nation are fully vaccinated. The government seems to be continuing with the roadmap plan, too, with the hospitality industry opening in full on May 17th. Ministers have suggested that regional lockdowns in areas with high infection rates might be necessary, however, and whether restriction easing on June 21st will go ahead is currently unknown. For now, the advice remains the same: continue to socially distance wherever possible, wash your hands, and wear masks unless you’re exempt.
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