LONDON – London and surrounding areas will be under Britain’s highest corona virus control starting Wednesday, the health secretary said on Monday, adding that a new variant of the virus could be spreading.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the government should take swift action after seeing “very sharp, rapid rises” in Greater London and nearby Kent and Essex. He said in some areas cases are doubling once every seven days.
Hancock told lawmakers that the rise of COVID-19 cases in the south of England may be related to a new variant of the corona virus. He said authorities were evaluating the new fiber, but there was nothing to say that it was more likely to cause serious illness, or that it would not respond to a vaccine.
“We have so far identified more than 1,000 cases with this variant, mainly in the south of the UK, although cases have been identified in almost 60 different local jurisdictions,” he said. The initial variant states that the new variant is growing faster than the existing variant.
“The medical advice we have is that it is very unlikely that this new variant will prevent the impact of the vaccine and the vaccine itself,” he said.
The UK began vaccinating people over the age of 80 and health workers with the Pfizer-Bioentech vaccine on December 8, and its regulators are evaluating other vaccines developed by Astrogeneka and the University of Oxford. Thousands have been vaccinated so far, but they have to return for a second shot in 21 days. The National Health Service said hundreds of medical clinics across the UK were distributing the vaccine on Monday and that the footage would be available by Tuesday.
Under the Tier 3 restrictions, the UK’s three-tier system is difficult for people to get around indoors and bars, restaurants and restaurants have to close without leaving. People are told to cut down on traveling in or out of the area, and Hancock said people should not travel to central London for Christmas shopping.
London is currently on Tier 2 or higher alert, which applies to most parts of the UK.
In November, the capital was one of the areas with the lowest regional epidemics in the UK, but some areas in and around London have now become viral hotspots.
Dr. Michael Ryan, emergency head of the World Health Organization, told the UN about the new strain reported in the UK. He said the health agency was aware and was working with British and other health officials to assess how the reported mutations could change the virus. Is going on.
“Evolution and mutations like this are very common,” Ryan told reporters Monday, adding that “there is” no information “that this virus variant is very dangerous or spreads easily among people.”
Viruses such as COVID-19 are constantly evolving as they spread among people and scientists. Most mutations have little effect on human disease.
Maria van Kerkov, WHO’s technology leader at COVID – 19, said “there is no evidence that this variation behaves differently” and that it is similar to a variation initially announced in Europe. Scientists will further study the new variant, looking to see if there is any difference in how it triggered the immune response among people.
Local authorities in some London metropolitan areas have already advised schools to close and move on to online learning as cases of the corona virus increase. On Sunday, officials in Greenwich, south-east London, said the metropolis was experiencing “rapid growth”, with infection rates now at their highest level since March.
The Conservative government has called for the closure of all high schools and colleges in London before Christmas as London mayor Sadiq Khan erupts among students aged 10 to 19.
Following the removal of the four-week national lockout on December 2, stricter restrictions will be imposed on restaurants, pubs and West End-famous theaters that reopen for business during the busy Christmas season.
“We’ve already put so much money on resale – that’s where my heart bleeds a little bit,” said Clover Ajiyashi, who runs the restaurant and bar lounge Brixton. “We’re getting ready for Christmas. What are we going to do with all this stock?”
On Sunday, Italy surpassed Britain to become the country with the highest number of corona virus deaths in Europe, but both have more than 64,000 deaths each, according to Johns Hopkins University. Experts say that due to limited testing and missed cases, those heights still reduce the impact of the virus.
Contributed by AP Medical Writer Maria Cheng from Toronto.