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Explainer: is the new Covid-19 strain in UK spreading faster?

Dec 20, 2020 23:13 IST

A new strain of the novel coronavirus has forced UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to impose strict restrictions in large parts of England, including London, dampening Christmas celebrations. The UK was otherwise set to relax certain curbs during the festive season. The new strain is thought to be the reason behind the recent surge in cases in UK. Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that the new strain is 'out of control' and spreads 70% faster than the earlier ones. However, there is no evidence yet if this particular strain leads to higher mortality rate or it reacts differently or less to the vaccines. Reacting to the development Italy, Netherlands and Belgium have banned flights from UK. Belgium has also banned trains. The WHO has said that it is close contact with UK authorities and also added that the new variant of the Covid-19 virus has also been found in Denmark, Netherlands and Australia.

International