The new strain of Coronavirus has triggered fresh wave of anxiety and fresh cases in United Kingdom and beyond. A week since it was first identified, the new strain is already responsible for 60 percent of the cases in the country.
The new strain of Coronavirus has triggered fresh wave of anxiety and fresh cases in United Kingdom and beyond.
A week since it was first identified, the new strain is already responsible for 60 percent of the cases in the country.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has even gone on record to state that the strain was 70 percent more transmissible than the existing ones.
The surge in cases forced Boris Johnson to announce a nationwide lockdown till December 30.
In a statement, Boris said: "As Prime Minister, it is my duty to take the difficult decisions, to do what is right to protect the people of this country. Given the early evidence we have on this new variant of the virus, and the potential risk it poses, it is with a heavy heart that I must tell you we cannot continue with Christmas as planned."
"We are sacrificing our chance to see loved ones this Christmas, so we have a better chance of protecting their lives so we can see them at future Christmases." he added.
Painting a grim picture, UK Health Minister Matt Hancock has already announced that the new strain had "gone out of control".
He said, "Given how much faster this new variant spreads, it's going to be very difficult to keep it under control until we have the vaccine rolled out."
New strain spreading beyond UK borders
The new strain of Coronavirus has been detected in countries like Italy and Australia.
The new strain has been detected in people who have recently returned from the United Kingdom.
Nine cases linked to the new COVID-19 strain have been detected in Denmark while one case has been detected in the Netherlands.
Countries look to evade new strain
With the new strain spreading at worrying rate, countries across the world have forced to take precautionary measures.
India's Civil Aviation ministry has suspended all flights originating from U.K into India temporarily from December 22-31.
The ministry, in a statement, said that "airlines operating flights to India from other countries shall not board any passenger travelling from UK to India and shall ensure that no passenger coming from UK is boarded in a flight for any destination in India either directly or indirectly."
Besides India, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and Israel are among the nations that have restricted flight movements. France also closed its borders with UK for 48 hours.
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Last Updated Dec 21, 2020, 8:26 PM IST