Just when you think 2020 didn’t have any more surprises, there’s now a new mutant strain of the coronavirus and it’s threatening the global fight to end this pandemic!
The new strain is said to cause the same medical conditions as the original however it is 70 percent more infectious.
The mutant strain of the virus has been identified in a number of countries including the UK, several other European countries, Australia as well as South Africa.
“Out Of Control”
On Sunday, the British health minister deemed that this new strain was “out of control.”
Following the introduction of several vaccines already developed, scientists are now studying the mutant strain to establish whether it is resistant to vaccines – but it is going to take at least two weeks before they have a definitive result. Scientists are however optimistic.
Patrick Vallance, the British government’s chief scientific adviser, says that the new strain contained 23 differences, including the way the virus binds to human cells and enters cells.
New Variant Found In September
The new strain was first discovered in a patient in September. Susan Hopkins of Public Health England said that this new strain was behind a cluster of cases in Kent which eventually spread into London and Essex. She subsequently informed the British government on the 11th of December.
Public Health England then again notified the government last Friday when modeling revealed the full seriousness of the new strain.
Countries Close Their Borders
Countries throughout the world started closing their borders to travelers coming from the UK on Sunday, due to fears that the mutant strain could spread.
Germany has now also restricted flights from South Africa.
There are very unhappy people in the UK at the moment, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson reversed a previous pledge. He said millions must now cancel their Christmas plans and stay at home from Sunday morning because of the new virus strain.