Indian coronavirus variant could "become a big problem" in UK, expert warns

Indian coronavirus variant could "become a big problem" in UK, expert warns
Indian coronavirus variant could "become a big problem" in UK, expert warns

We show you our most important and recent visitors news details Indian coronavirus variant could "become a big problem" in UK, expert warns in the following article

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - LONDON — The India-related coronavirus variant could "pick up speed and become a big problem" in Britain as the country further eases its lockdown, a British expert warned Saturday.

Britain's fight against coronavirus could turn bad "very, very quickly" unless the government acts cautiously on easing lockdown further, professor Tim Gowers from the University of Cambridge told The Guardian newspaper.

"So I think if that's the way you're going to play things, then you should be very, very cautious about every step you take ... And maybe everything (will) be okay, maybe the number of people who are vaccinated will be just enough," he said.

"But if it's not OK, we know, because of mathematics, that things will get bad very, very quickly," he said. "Or at least, maybe it won't look that quick to start with, but it'll grow exponentially. So it'll pick up speed and become a big problem."

Meanwhile, Professor Anthony Harnden, deputy chair of Britain's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), also warned that the India-related variant is "clearly more transmissible".

"We need to be reassured that we're in a very different position now in that we've got a highly vaccinated population and we just need to continue moving at speed," he told the BBC.

"We do know that with this particular variant you do need two doses to offer complete protection, and so we're very, very keen to make sure that all those, particularly higher risk groups, that's the over-50s and those with underlying illness, receive their second vaccination as soon as feasible."

Another 4,182 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Britain, the highest daily total since April 1, according to the latest official figures released Friday.

It's also the third day running that the number has been above 3,000. The total number of coronavirus cases in the country now stands at 4,477,705.

Meanwhile, the India-related COVID variant cases doubled in a week in England to almost 7,000, prompting concerns that the government's lockdown roadmap will be derailed.

From May 17, bars and restaurants in England were permitted to open indoors, while indoor entertainment resumed, including cinemas, museums and children's play areas.

People were also allowed to travel abroad to a number of "green-list" countries without having to quarantine upon return as the ban on foreign travel has also been lifted.

The British government's roadmap is expected to see all legal limits on social contact to be removed on June 21. It is understood that a final decision on the planed easing of lockdown will not be made until June 14.

More than 38.8 million people, or more than 70 percent of adults in Britain, have been given the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the latest official figures.

Experts have warned that coronavirus may continue to evolve for years to come, and eventually it is likely current vaccines will fail to protect against transmission, infection, or even against disease caused by newer variants.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Russia, the United States as well as the European Union have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines. — Agencies

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