Professor Neil Ferguson, a British epidemiologist at Imperial College London and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), discussed the threat the Covid mutation poses to the UK’s roadmap outside of lockdown.
Telling reporters it’s “a matter of degree” that the variant derails the end of Covid restrictions, the SAGE member said there is data to suggest it could affect young people more than previous strains.
He said: ‘There is a clue in the data that those under 21 are slightly more likely to be infected with this variant compared to other variants in recent weeks in the UK.
“Whether it reflects a shift in biology or reflects what is called the foundational effects and the context – the people who came to the country with the virus and then spread the infection in some schools and colleges – it’s impossible to solve at the moment. “
The SAGE member also said: “We hope to be able to be more definitive on these answers in the next two to three weeks”.
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Currently, Covid vaccines are only available for those over 30, which could explain the increase in cases among younger people.
Professor Ravi Gupta, a microbiologist at the University of Cambridge, also told the press conference: “I think we should take these reports. [of it spreading more quickly in the young] seriously because it’s the first sign that you have a problem.
“Often, if you wait too long for the right data, it’s too late.
“Hopefully the countries where they see this will study it rigorously so that we can get this information.”
Public Health England (PHE) yesterday reported cases of the Indian variant were found in 151 local authorities as of the week of May 15.
The latest PHE data also revealed that a total of 3,424 cases had been confirmed in the UK through May 19, with a majority detected only the week before.
Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty said on May 14 that the variant is expected to “overtake and dominate in the UK the way B.1.1.7 (Kent variant) has taken over and other variants took over before that “.
SAGE has estimated that the variant is up to 50% more transmissible than the Kent variant.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK still had to be “careful” to free the UK from restrictions, but added he saw nothing in the data that would suggest “deviating” from the plan.
DON’T MISS …
Another 186,147 first doses and 387,987 second doses of the Covid vaccine were administered yesterday.
The UK administered a total of 38,378,564 first doses and 23,616,498 second doses, representing 72.9% and 44.8% of the population, respectively.
Yesterday, another 3,180 cases and nine deaths were also recorded within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test.
In total, the UK has recorded 4,470,297 cases and 127,748 deaths.
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This notice was published: 2021-05-27 03:32:14