Boris Johnson warns a THIRD Covid strain could be heading to the UK: PM says No10 is ‘taking steps’ to stop Brazilian variant which experts fear is similar to highly contagious Kent and South African strains
- The strain looks similar to the ones that emerged in Kent and in South Africa
- This suggests it could be faster to spread but is unlikely to be more deadly
- Scientists warn faster spread leads to more cases, leading to more deaths
Boris Johnson today claimed No10 is ‘taking steps’ to protect the UK from a Brazilian Covid variant which experts fear is similar to the highly contagious Kent and South African strains.
The Prime Minister revealed officials were looking at ways to stop the variant found in travellers from Brazil — but dodged questions about whether Britain would adopt a travel ban.
Speaking to MPs this afternoon, he said: ‘We are concerned about the new Brazilian variant.
‘We already have tough measures, as you know, to stop from new infections come from abroad. We are taking steps to do that in response to the Brazilian variation.’
It is normal for viruses to mutate and early signs don’t suggest that any of the new variants of coronavirus are more deadly than others, but in some places it is evolving to be able to spread faster.
If the virus is faster spreading it will inevitably lead to more cases which will in turn lead to a higher death count, even if the strain itself isn’t more dangerous.
The variant that emerged in Kent, now estimated to be around 56 per cent more transmissible than its predecessor, has quickly become the dominant form of the virus in England and has led to the country’s longest and toughest lockdown since March 2020.
The Prime Minister revealed ministers were looking at ways to stop a variant of the variant found in Brazil — but dodged questions about whether Britain would adopt a travel ban
The mutant strain of coronavirus was discovered in Japan last week in four people who had arrived on a flight from Brazil.
Scientists said it had similarities to that of the highly contagious variants in Britain and South Africa.
Namely, it has a genetic mutation called N501Y, which changes the shape of the spike proteins found on the outside of the virus.