The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced this Saturday that London and the southeast of England will be confined again from this Sunday to try to control a rise in covid-19 infections, attributed to a new strain.
“It appears that this spread is fueled by a new variant of the virus“, what “seems to be transmitted significantly easier”, Declared the prime minister in a press conference.
“Nothing indicates it is more deadly or causes a more severe form of the disease.”Or that reduces the effectiveness of vaccines, he clarified however.
The inhabitants of the capital and south-east England, already under severe restrictions, will be subjected to a new level of alert, the fourth and highest. They will have to stay at home and businesses considered “non-essential” will not be able to open.
The pubs, restaurants and museums in those two areas they are closed since last weekend.
All trips outside that area, whether within the national territory or to go abroad, will be prohibited.
In areas governed by maximum alert meetings between members of different households may not be held, and in the rest of the areas they will have to be done in a single day.
A man with a mask walks through London (EFE / EPA / NEIL HALL)
England’s chief medical officer and adviser to the government, Chris Whitty, had said earlier that a new strain of coronavirus identified in the UK may spread more quickly and work is being done urgently to confirm that it does not cause increased mortality.
As announced on Monday, the UK has identified a new variant of COVID-19 via Public Health England genomic surveillance, ”Whitty said in a statement. “As a result of the rapid spread of the new variant, preliminary modeling data, and rapidly increasing incidence rates in the Southeast, The New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) now believes that the new strain may spread more rapidly”Continues the press release issued by the UK Department of Health and Welfare.
Whitty noted that they have “alerted to the World Health Organization“And that continue”analyzing the available data to improve our understanding ”.
The text highlights that “there is no current evidence to suggest that the new strain causes a higher death rate or affects vaccines and treatments“But they are”working urgently to confirm it”.
Faced with the discovery of this new strain of coronavirus, the medical director of England assured that “it is more vital than ever that the public continue to take action in their area to reduce transmission”.
Last Monday, the UK Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, alerted to the House of Commons that they had identified “a new variant of coronavirus, which may be associated with the faster spread.”
The official warned about “very marked exponential increases of the virus in London, Kent, parts of Essex and Hertfordshire”. Health authorities noted that this new strain is reproducing mainly among children.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, requested an early closure of educational centers to protect the health of the population in the days prior to Christmas. As a result of this, the Johnson government decreed the highest level of restrictions in the face of the pandemic.