A new strain of coronavirus recently reported in the United Kingdom has created an alarming situation in the country. The new strain, which is spreading 70% faster than the known virus, has prompted the UK’s health ministry to impose a strict lockdown in several parts of the UK.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned that the new strain of the coronavirus is “out of control”.
Amidst the virus spread, the UK government has pulled back its plans to relax the COVID-19 restrictions amidst the holiday season. Now, more than 16 million Britons are required to stay at home after a lockdown came into force Sunday in London and southeast England.
“Cases have absolutely rocketed, so we’ve got a long way to go,” Hancock told Sky News. “I think it will be very difficult to keep it under control until the vaccine has rolled out. People in the new Tier 4 areas should behave as though they have it,” he said.
The UK, for the unaware, is carrying out a vaccination drive for its citizen. The country had earlier approved the use of Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine and plans to vaccinate over 5,00,000 per week.
As per the experts, the new strain of the virus has the capability to spread much faster than previous strains.
“We made the commitment not knowing that there was going to be a new variant that spreads so much faster,” Hancock said, of the original plans. He said there is “no evidence” that the new strain — VUI-202012/01 — is milder than the original virus.
Seeing the whole situation, several countries, including Canada and Saudi Arabia, have already suspended flight operations from and to the UK. Meanwhile, India is mulling the call to ban flights from and to the UK as of now.