Not only is the new variant of the coronavirus more transmissible, but it could also be more deadly as well. This is the finding from data being accessed by scientists in the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group in the UK.
However, the scientists pointed out that the new evidence is preliminary.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the higher mortality rate with this new variant has placed even more strain on their health care system.
“In addition to spreading more quickly, it also now appears that there is some evidence that the new variant – the variant that was first identified in London and the south east – may be associated with a higher degree of mortality,” he said.
“It’s largely the impact of this new variant that means the NHS is under such intense pressure.”
The evidence comes from mathematicians analysing trends in the numbers of people dying with the new and the old variants. So far, the new variant appears to be around 30 per cent more deadly.
But Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific advisor, said the evidence on lethality “is not yet strong”.
He said: “I want to stress that there’s a lot of uncertainty around these numbers and we need more work to get a precise handle on it, but it obviously is a concern that this has an increase in mortality as well as an increase in transmissibility.”