A top scientist has warned that it will not be possible to stop the Brazilian variant of coronavirus from entering the UK amid young people’s concerns about its effectiveness.
Sir David King, former chief scientific adviser to the government, pushed for strict restrictions on international travel to keep the mutant tribe out as much as possible.
He told Sky News he supports a traffic light system for overseas travel, adding, “So if we talk about going straight to a country with a very low disease rate and if the right precautions are taken, you’re in.” fully tested or fully vaccinated then I think it is perfectly feasible to allow people to travel overseas.
“But I think it should be very limited.
“I think we know that the South African variant, for example, has come to this country. It is being taken up considerably here.
“And the Brazilian variant – I don’t think we can keep it out of the country.
“The importance of the fine test, trace, isolation and support system cannot be overestimated.”
Sir David spoke as the virus continued to penetrate South America’s largest country.
More than 350,000 people have died of Covid-19 in Brazil while at least 13,400,000 cases have been discovered.
Unlike some other countries that have managed to get the infection rate under control, the Brazilian rate has risen sharply in recent months.
One reason for this is the P1 variant, which is believed to be a highly infectious mutation of the virus that appears to be more deadly in young people.
Some researchers in Brazil have found that cases in 30- to 60-year-olds have increased six-fold since the variant first appeared.
Over the weekend it was reported that during the pandemic, for the first time, more under 39-year-olds in the country – around 11,000 – were in Covid’s intensive care unit than 39-year-olds.
Lawrence Young, a professor of molecular oncology at Warwick Medical School, told The Sun: “Seeing more young people sick is a problem.
“It is difficult to tell the direct impact of a virus from what happens when a healthcare system is overwhelmed.
“But there are only more reasons to be careful, young people too, and make sure we don’t bring a new variant into this country.”
Brazil is currently the global epicenter of the virus. More than 4,000 people were killed every day over the past week.
President Jair Bolsonaro has had widespread criticism of his approach to the coronavirus, which he has termed “minor flu”.
He has repeatedly ignored calls from health professionals to wear masks and opposed the use of lockdown measures.
His response is now to be examined as he has not taken adequate action to stop the outbreak in the South American country.
“You are dealing with an angry inferno of an outbreak,” said Bruce Aylward, senior adviser to the director general of the World Health Organization, in a public briefing.
Supreme Court Justice Luis Roberto Barroso ruled late Thursday that enough senators had signed a proposed government pandemic response inquiry to start the investigation despite the Senate leadership stalling.