A government advisor has explained what more restrictions will be in the UK following the rise of a worrying new Covid version in Africa.
The variant has twice as many mutations as Delta Sparking fears it could evade vaccines and spread rapidly.
Britain has banned travel to six African countries after it was discovered this week, with experts describing the new Covid as ‘complicated’ and ‘worrisome’.
Dr Mike Tildesley, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Modeling Group (Spi-M) advising the government, said it was “very, very early days” in understanding the new version and whether it could affect vaccines, whether it would spreads more rapidly or is more lethal.
He told BBC Breakfast: “I think there have been fewer than 100 confirmed cases so far in South Africa and elsewhere, so it’s worrying, but it’s really important that we collect as much information as possible right now so that we can really I can understand how worried we should be.”
He said there could be a rapid spread of cases in South Africa because only 24% of the population has been fully vaccinated.
Speaking to people in the UK, he said: “The message hasn’t really changed … it’s still important that people go out, continue to get their vaccines, continue to get their boosters because it still keeps us safe.” will provide.”
He said the key thing for the UK was whether the variant would send the reproduction value (R) above one, or potentially lead to a higher number of hospital admissions.
Then the government would need to act, he said, but added, “There are a lot of ifs at the moment and they all need to be clarified before I think we get out there and really think about what could happen.” If we start seeing an increasing number of cases in the UK.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said there are concerns that the new coronavirus variant “could beat the vaccine”.
Mr Shapps told BBC Breakfast that ministers worked “extremely fast” to ensure a “safety-first approach” to the travel changes after an emergency meeting with chief medical officers.
He continued: “It’s agreed upon throughout the United Kingdom and we acted fast, it’s like the mink version from Denmark last year, where we worked very quickly, within hours and we were able to check once To put it out there, to free things up somewhat.
“I hope it’s a pause rather than a backwards move, but we can’t take the risk when we see a version that may well beat the vaccine, or at least that’s the concern and We just need a little time to check that out.”