Direct.Latest news about the coronavirus
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday that the new English variant of covid-19, B117, may be
associated with a higher level of mortality
, although he said that evidence shows that both vaccines used in the country are effective against him.
"We were informed today that in
addition to spreading more rapidly
, there now also appears to be some evidence that the new variant, first discovered in London and the south-east (of England), may be
linked to a higher degree of mortality,
" he said at a press conference.
The warning about the lethality of the new strain, which was identified in England at the end of last year, has been a further setback after the country had lifted its spirits thanks to news that the number of new infections by covid-19 was reducing by up to 4% a day.
Johnson said, however, that all current evidence shows that both vaccines are still effective against new and old variants.
Data released earlier on Friday showed that 5.38 million people had received their first dose of a vaccine, and 409,855 received it in the past 24 hours, a record so far.
England and Scotland announced new restrictions on January 4 to halt a
surge in disease caused by the
of the coronavirus, which has led to a record number of deaths and daily infections this month.
The latest estimates from the Ministry of Health suggest that
the number of new infections dropped between 1% and 4% per day
Last week, cases were thought to be growing by as much as 5%, and the change raised hopes that the spread of the virus is slowing, though the ministry urged caution.
The closely watched reproduction "R" number was estimated to be between 0.8 and 1, down from a range of 1.2 to 1.3 last week, meaning that, on average, every 10 people infected they will infect eight to ten more people.
But the Office for National Statistics estimated that the overall prevalence remained high, and about
one in 55 people had the virus.
Cases remain dangerously high and we must remain vigilant to keep this virus under control
," the Health Ministry said.
"It is essential that everyone remains at home, whether they have been vaccinated or not."
has recorded more than 3.5 million infections and almost 96,000 deaths
, the fifth highest figure in the world, while the economy has been affected.
Friday's figures showed government debt at its highest as a share of GDP since 1962, and retailers had their worst year on record.
According to the criteria of The Trust Project
Science and Health
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