Experts have been saying that more studies and data are needed to identify the potential danger of the new strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus since the UK prime minister has said that it is 70 percent more contagious than the original variant. A number of European countries have banned flights from the UK to reduce the risk of B.1.1.7 strain, which is spreading in the rest of European regions. Experts have said that it is the first notable coronavirus mutation, which has a range of 17 genetic changes. Experts have said that it might not cause more fatal COVID19 disease; however, it might be more contagious than the previous variant. Some experts have expressed their concern that the new strain might make the existing vaccines ineffective. Although, health experts have said it is not possible. Health experts have said that more research on the new variant of the virus is required to chalk out a plan to move forward. It should be examined in the lab to confirm how contagious it is and to determine whether it can dodge immunity provided by the vaccines.
For the first time, scientists from the UK have studies the new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The study has found that it might be more contagious. Experts have said that the government needs to take stricter measures, which include the closing of schools and universities, and speed up the vaccine campaigns. These measures are required to keep the new variant in control said the experts. This study has been done by experts from the Center for Mathematical Modeling of Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Scientists have said that the new strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is 56 percent more transmissible than the original strain, which has been spreading across the country so far. Experts have been trying to gather more data; therefore, 56 percent is still a rough estimate. The study has shown no evidence of the new mutation being more fatal than the other variants, which is a sign of relief for health officials. The lead author of the study, Nicholas Davies has said that the officials need to speed up vaccine rollout across the country to contain the spread of the new mutation. Initial findings of the study have confirmed that rapid immunization is essential for countries, which are dealing with this or similar type of strain.
Experts have not been able to identify the behavior of the new mutation but they have used computer models to determine the severity of the virus. The findings of these tests have ruled out the likelihood of the B.1.1.7 strain becoming more widespread in some regions of the UK as people living in those areas move more frequently and are in contact with more people. Scientists have studied various restriction levels to make a model of what might occur in the next six months. The study has shown that the COVID19 cases, hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and deaths due to the disease are going to shoot up in 2021 in the absence of an extensive vaccine campaign. The country has reported around 2.2 million cases of COVID19 this year. Around 77000 people have lost their lives due to the disease. Health experts have said that shutting down schools might help the country a little bit and provide some time to graph the next plan of action. However, lifting up restrictions will result in a major spike in cases, said the experts. They have said that the government’s target to vaccinate around 200000 people each week would be too slow to prevent the spread of the new variant of the virus. The lead author has said that if the officials plan to immunize nearly 2 million people each week, they might be able to contain the spread of the virus. Nevertheless, the vaccine supply across the UK is still quite low; which means it will take some time to ramp up the immunization drive. Even if the supply of the vaccine is on track, it is uncertain whether the UK government will be able to vaccinate 2 million people weekly. The findings of the study have been released in preprint format in an online portal.