The UK is facing another devastating blow of the coronavirus following the emergence of a more deadly variant spreading across the country.
Analysis has revealed that more than 25 per cent of Covid-19 victims have been reported during the past four weeks alone. It is believed that the new variant of the coronavirus could be up to 30 per cent deadlier than the original virus.
Despite all efforts to curb the spread including mass vaccine rollouts and tougher restrictions, the daily fatalities are rapidly increasing leaving the government with no other choice than to further toughen the restrictions.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there is a clear attestation that the highly-transmissible variant may be “associated with a higher degree of mortality” among those infected, but Sir Patrick Vallance, No 10`s chief scientific adviser said there was still a “lot of uncertainty” surrounding the findings.
“The death rate is awful and it’s going to stay, I’m afraid, high for a little while before it starts coming down, that was always what was predicted from the shape of this,” Sir Patrick Vallance said during a Downing Street briefing on Friday.
Between 21 December and 22 January, a total of 28,580 deaths were reported, and 95,981 people succumbed to the virus within 28 days of a positive test, the latest government data has shown. On Friday the government announced a further 1,401 fatalities and 40,261 new cases.
Professor Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England said the UK still faces an “extremely precarious” situation, warning that the surge in deaths “may well be still in the future”.
“In terms of the infection rate, if you took the country as a whole and just averaged it, then the number of infections is broadly going down but it is at a very high level, and it is extremely precarious – I really want to stress this,” he said.
“A very small change and it could start taking off again from an extremely high base, and there are some areas of the country and some age groups in which it does not appear to be going down – for example in people [aged] 20-30, the evidence is that it may still be increasing in some parts of the country.”
The recent findings suggest that border restrictions could tighten to avoid further deadly coronavirus variants entering the country.