Covid restrictions on the way – Vallance warns mutation to push more areas into lockdown

Patrick Vallance: Some form of measures in place until spring

The Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance has warned more areas in the UK could be plunged into Tier 4 restrictions. Speaking at Downing Street, Sir Patrick said: “The evidence on this virus is that it spreads easily, it’s more transmissible, we absolutely need to make sure we have the right level of restrictions in place. I think it is likely that this will grow in numbers of the variant across the country and I think it’s likely, therefore, that measures will need to be increased in some places, in due course, not reduced.

“I think it is the case that this will spread more.”

He said there is no reason to think the new variant is more dangerous than the existing strain.

Sir Patrick continued: “Evidence that this can transmit more readily is becoming clear in terms of the data of the rapid spread of this virus across areas.

“The transmission is increased, but we can’t say exactly by how much, but it is clearly substantially increased, so it is more transmissible, which is why we see it growing so fast and spreading to so many areas.

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“There is no evidence that the disease course is any different, so if you catch it the disease looks the same as any other form of Covid infection.

“In terms of the immune response, there is nothing to suggest that this won’t have the same susceptibility to antibody attack from vaccine or pre-existing infection as any other form.

“At the moment, the vaccine looks as though it should be as effective and that’s obviously being looked at.”

More to follow…

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