British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his health advisers have claimed that the UK’s ‘supercovid’ variety can be between 30 and 40 percent more deadly than older forms of the virus, but provided no evidence for his alarming warning.
The variant is now in at least 60 countries, including the US, where it has been found in at least 20 states.
Scientists generally believe the variant, known as B117, is more contagious, but the consensus of the global scientific community so far is that while it’s about 70 percent more contagious, it’s not more deadly.
The Friday warning from the UK Department of Health contradicts what the top American infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said less than 24 hours earlier.
By explaining the risk change out loud without presenting data to prove the terrifying development after it was leaked to a UK reporter before the briefing, UK chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said hospital data suggested the variant could reduce the risk of death for a man could increase. his 1960s from one percent to 1.3 percent, but he admitted “the evidence isn’t strong yet.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his health advisers have claimed that the UK’s ‘supercovid’ variety can be between 30 and 40 percent more deadly than older forms of the virus – but gave no evidence for his alarming warning.
A 30 percent increase in the risk of death does not mean that 30 percent of people will die, but is a relative increase, Sir Patrick explained.
Doomsday came despite a string of statistics showing that the second wave appears to have already peaked and is coming under control, though SAGE warned that there are still ‘dangerously high’ infection levels.
SAGE said today that the UK R rate has fallen below the pivotal level of one as individual experts estimate that daily cases have halved in a fortnight and the Department of Health’s own statistics show that daily infections for nearly two weeks are days have gone down. Another 40,261 positive tests were recorded today, down nearly 30 percent in a week. Officials also recorded 1,401 fatalities, only 9.5 percent more than last Friday.
Mr. Johnson defied mounting pressure to relax current measures and warned today that the NHS is still under tremendous pressure and that the curbs will only be lifted when it is ‘safe’. Downing Street has been warned that it will have to face the ‘mother of all battles’ next month when it has to talk about relaxing restrictions.
The 70-member Covid Recovery Group of Conservative MPs is urging the government to begin lifting the lockdown by March 8 – when vaccines given to the most vulnerable groups should have taken effect.
But No10’s refusal to give an exact day for when the lockdown will end may have been fueled by troubling findings from scientists who argued SAGE who raised the alarm about the variant’s potential increased mortality risk.
‘Professor Lockdown’ Neil Ferguson, Imperial College London’s epidemiologist whose grim models warned hundreds of thousands of Britons could die without action in March, told ITV it is a ‘realistic possibility’ that the new variant increases the risk of death.
The variant has already been spotted in 60 countries, including the US, Australia, India, China and Saudi Arabia. But the government’s chief scientific advisers believe that current vaccines will work against the variant, but may be less effective against other South African and Brazilian mutations.
Health Minister Matt Hancock has sensationally claimed to travel agents in a private zoom call that vaccines may be 50 percent less effective for the South African variant, claiming the information was public, but admitted: ‘I wouldn’t say this publicly because he provided no evidence, MailOnline revealed today.
And grim numbers exposing the other economically crippling side of lockdown show that business activity has fallen even more than expected this month, leaving the UK looking down on a double dip recession. Number 10 borrowed more than £ 34 billion in December – the third-highest monthly total ever – as it rushes to keep millions of jobs and affected businesses afloat while tax revenues dwindle.
Instead, cabinet ministers are embroiled in inappropriate bickering over whether to pump up financial support further and tighten rules at Britain’s borders. A leaked plan from Matt Hancock’s Department of Health would ensure that anyone who tests positive for the coronavirus gets £ 500 in cash to isolate themselves.
The idea, which could cost half a billion pounds a week, is intended to bolster low levels of compliance – but officials at Rishi Sunak’s Treasury labeled it ‘insane’, while No10 actually rejected the proposal, saying the Prime Minister had not seen it .
Meanwhile, the powerful Covid O cabinet committee is due to make a decision next week on the introduction of ‘quarantine hotels’ – potentially forcing all arrivals to isolate at airports for 10 days to prevent more Covid ‘super strains’ from being imported.
Species of concern around the world: Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, there have been at least six new spots that appear more contagious and have mutations that open the door to vaccine resistance