Netherlands & Belgium ban flights from UK. 7 facts about new UK coronavirus strain
UK’s new COVID variant: How does the virus act?
The new variant can spread significantly more quickly than previous strains in circulation. It is up to 70% more infectious but it is not thought to be more deadly and vaccines should still be effective.
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Saturday informed that is in close contact with UK officials over a new COVID-19 virus variant.
In a tweet, WHO revealed: “They’ll (UK officials) continue to share info and results of their analysis and ongoing studies. We’ll update Member States and public as we learn more about the characteristics of this virus variant and any implications.
Facts about the new coronavirus strain
- Viruses tend to evolve or mutate quickly, particularly those like flu that require new vaccines to be developed each year because of changes in key proteins.
- SARS-CoV-2 also changes, although generally at a slower pace than some other viruses because it has a self-correcting mechanism that keeps its genetic sequence relatively stable
- Covid-19 case rates nearly doubled in London over the past week, with almost 60% of these infections attributed to the new strain
- Boris Jhonson and scientists explained, the new strain of coronavirus identified in the United Kingdom is up to 70% more infectious but it is not thought to be more deadly and vaccines should still be effective.
- Emerging scientific evidence suggests the new variant can spread significantly more quickly than previous strains in circulation.
- Other variants in the coronavirus have been reported in the past, including one in minks, which are susceptible to the virus.
- It was feared to be highly transmissible and was reported to the World Health Organization. Although as of Nov. 20 the WHO said the most worrying strain linked to the animals is no longer circulating in humans.
Lockdown in London and southeast England
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, meanwhile, imposed a full lockdown on London and southeast England in a desperate attempt to stop the spread of the new coronavirus strain.
After emergency talks on the virus mutation with his top officials, the prime minister canceled his plan to ease pandemic rules for five days during the holiday. Household mixing will be banned in London and southeast England, and socializing will be restricted to just Christmas Day across the rest of England. Residents across the country were told to keep to their local areas.
The dramatic escalation in the government’s pandemic response was triggered by the new strain of the virus that is virtually unique to the U.K.
“When the virus changes its method of attack we must change our method of defense,” Johnson said at a news conference Saturday. “Without action the evidence suggests infections would soar, hospitals would become overwhelmed and many thousands more would lose their lives.”
Netherlands ban flights from UK
The Netherlands will ban flights carrying passengers from the United Kingdom from Sunday as Britain detected the new coronavirus strain.
A travel ban will remain in place until Jan. 1, the government said in a statement early Sunday, adding that it is monitoring developments and is considering additional measures regarding other modes of transport.
Netherlands added that in early December, sampling of a case in the country had revealed the same virus strain as that found in the UK.
In measures to control the spread of virus, government issued a “do not travel” advisory, unless it is absolutely essential.
Meanwhile, Belgium is suspending flight and train arrivals from Britain from 11pm tonight in response to the new strain.(Mint.Com)