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Experts investigate new ‘triple mutant’ variant of Covid, 49 cases discovered in UK UK News

Experts are studying a new ‘triple mutant’ variant of Covid with a ‘strange combination’ of genes after 49 cases were discovered in the UK.

Cases of the new variant have been found primarily in Yorkshire and Humber as England’s R rate potentially rises to more than one.

However, people are told not to be alarmed by the “study variant” as there is no evidence yet to indicate that it is more transmissible or resistant to vaccines.

It comes as the government has said the Covid R rate is now between 0.9 and 1.1, the highest since the second wave peaked in January, the Mirror reports.

The ministers said they will put in place all necessary measures to tackle any new variant.

But Greg Fell, director of public health for Sheffield, said there was no reason to believe the ‘triple mutant variant’ is more transmissible or resistant to vaccines.

He said in a statement: “Please don’t worry, we want you to continue doing what you have been doing for the past year. Follow the advice, continue to wash your hands regularly and wear a mask inside. “

He added that where cases have been discovered, “contact tracing and targeted testing” would be used to limit its spread, while “the strange combination of mutations” continues to be investigated.

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49 cases of the new variant were found mainly in Yorkshire and Humber

The Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said: “There have been a number of variations throughout the pandemic and it always will be.

“There are three mutations in the B1617 (Indian) strain, as I think has been discussed previously, but as we do with all of the variants where we spot and identify them through our genomic sequencing program, we will continue. to watch them and we will designate as variants under study, then variants of concern if we deem them more risky.

“But again, as you have seen throughout the pandemic, that is what we have been doing and we will not hesitate to put in place measures that we believe are necessary to try to combat transmission. of all variants. “

The Office for National Statistics has estimated that it sees a “potential increase” in Covid cases with nearly 50,000 people infected with the virus every day of the past week.

But the weekly report from Public Health England found cases had declined in all regions except the North West and in all age groups except children aged five to nine.

Cases of the Indian variant are only increasing in three areas – Bolton, Blackburn and Bedford – of the 23 hotspots, which also suggests that it is not getting out of hand.

Likewise, analysis from King’s College London found that 2,750 people had developed symptoms of Covid in the past week, which is little change from the previous seven days.