There is a “realistic possibility” that the Indian coronavirus variant could be up to “50% more transmissible” than the Kent strain, according to the Scientific Emergency Advisory Group (Sage).
The minutes of the meeting of the government’s scientific advisors on Thursday stated: “It is very likely that this variant is more transferable than B.1.1.7 (high confidence), and it is a realistic possibility that it could be up to 50% is transferable “.
It became known when Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England, told a press conference on Downing Street on Friday that experts had expected the India variant to “dominate the UK”, as had earlier variants .
He warned that if the variant turns out to be much more transmissible than other variants, the UK could see a “really significant increase” in Covid-19 cases, adding, “This is a really critical question that we have not yet addressed Have answer “.
Prof. Whitty said that in the UK the effects of the new variant may be delayed: “It could be that it was initially circulated at a younger age because it has always happened before.”
“Younger people mingle more and the initial circulation is at a younger age, and then the age range increases – maybe that’s why it’s just a delay.”
“Or maybe it’s a delay because the vaccine actually provides a break on fire, a barrier to reducing transmission over time to those who are most vulnerable. Obviously, the second of these is far better.”
He added, “But we can’t say that with confidence right now, and that’s why we need to look very closely at this new variant to see how much faster it grows than the old one, and this question of the Need to look at vaccines in practice. ”
He said Bolton is not the only place that has the new variant as it is “fairly widespread in a number of parts of England and other parts of the four nations of the United Kingdom”.