The UK government said on Tuesday (19) it is “closely watching” a new surge of the delta variant of the coronavirus that is circulating in the country.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister told reporters that there was still no evidence that the mutation called AY4.2 is more contagious than Delta.
“We will not hesitate to take action if necessary,” the representative said. “There is no reason to believe that it spreads more easily.”
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Micrographs show particles of the coronavirus that cause Covid-19 taken from a patient in the United States – Image: NIAID-RML via AP
The UK has faced a significant increase in the number of new Covid-19 infections, with daily cases ranging from 35,000 to 45,000, as well as having the highest rate across Europe.
Among the most affected are young people and adolescents, who have not yet been able to complete the vaccination. In addition, there is a decrease in immunity in older people who have been vaccinated for months.
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François Ballou, director of the Institute of Genetics at University College London, is one of those who believe the variant “is not the cause of the recent increase in the number of cases in the UK”.
The scientist explained, in an interview with AFP, that the transmission of the subvariable remains low (about 10%), in contrast to the alpha and delta strains, which are more transmissible (50%).
The new AY4.2 variant is almost nonexistent outside the UK, except for three cases detected in the US and a few in Denmark, which have almost disappeared since then.
Their reaction to currently available vaccines is still under investigation.
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