Sunday, 20 Jun 2021

Indian variant to become dominant UK strain ‘in days’ – expert warns of ‘unknown dangers’

Indian variant: Spread of B.1.617.2 virus since March

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The dangers with the Indian variant of coronavirus could be exacerbated as the strain is arriving at the same time the UK is lifting its strict lockdown conditions. Many epidemiologists and virologists have said the coincidence of the arrival of the Indian variant and the lifting of lockdown conditions could be a recipe for disaster. US epidemiologist Doctor Eric Feigl-Ding said: “The new faster transmission B16172, Indian variant, will likely dethrone the B117, Brazilian variant, and become dominant in the United Kingdom in a matter of days.

“The new Indian variant could pose unknown dangers.

“Since the B16172, Indian variant, was upgraded last week by both World Health Organisation and the UK, it has doubled in cases.”

Doctor Feigl-Ding added: “The Indian variant is worrisome.

“It’s spreading very very fast.

“That’s why the World Health Organisation and the UK have both upgraded it to a variant of concern warning level.”

Doctor Feigl-Ding described the worrying trend of the increased hospitalisations of coronavirus patients in the Bolton area.

He described how it “has increased, rising by 20 percent in 24 hours”.

He added: “A hospital in Bolton is opening an extra ward for coronavirus, as a previous ward is now full.

“Bolton has been hit by the B16172 Indian variant and cases are rising fast in children and young adults.”

Doctor Feigl-Ding has said he is now waiting “for the Public Health England report on Bolton outbreak”.

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust confirmed there were a total of 30 patients being treated in the area’s hospital on Thursday.

This was a rise from 25 on Wednesday as almost 3,000 cases of the Indian variant have been identified in the UK, this was a rise from 2,323 reported on Monday.

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Professor Andrew Hayward from University College London said he was “very concerned” about the spread of the B1.617.2 Indian variant.

Professor Hayward has warned that a third wave of coronavirus infections in the UK could be possible, due to the Indian variant.

Speaking to the Independent he said: “Obviously we’re doing everything we can to contain the spread of that but it’s likely that more generalised measures may start to be needed to control it.”

The epidemiologist Doctor Feigl-Ding added that the estimated approximate efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine against the Indian variant is “only 75 percent”.

According to an interview with the CEO of BioNTech, the maker of the Pfizer vaccine, the inoculation is expected to be 70 to 75 percent effective at protecting against infection from the Indian variant of coronavirus.

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