Four people have now died in the UK with the Indian variant of COVID-19 – the first known domestic death from the new variant of the virus.
According to data released by the government, the four deaths from the B.1.617.2 strain of the virus, now labeled a “variant of concern,” occurred between May 5 and 12.
Although the news represents a new turning point for the virus, it does not necessarily imply that the new variant is not more deadly than others circulating in the UK.
The Indian variant has only recently been detected in the UK, but the number of cases in which it has been found has risen sharply, with more than 1,300 sequenced as of May 12.
The variant is believed to be spreading in parts of the UK, including Bolton and Blackburn – although, because the overall number of COVID cases remains low, broader risk levels remain lower than they were during much of the winter.
Early evidence provides tentative signs that the new variant is not resistant to vaccines, with people over the age of 60 in areas such as Bolton and Blackburn seeing much smaller increases in cases than those in age groups younger.
However, there are fears that the spread of the variant may cause the Prime Minister to delay the final stages of easing the UK lockdown in June.
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This notice was published: 2021-05-14 10:52:00