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Boris Johnson is ‘anxious’ as Covid-19 variant present in India spreads in UK

The UK authorities’s scientific advisers have been assembly Thursday to debate the variant amid rising considerations it may jeopardize England’s plan to carry all authorized limits on social contact from June 21.

Johnson mentioned he remained “cautiously optimistic” about England’s plan to drop restrictions however that his authorities was “ruling nothing out.”

The variant, referred to as B.1.617, seems to be fueling a crippling second Covid-19 wave in India and has now unfold to greater than 40 international locations, in line with the World Health Organization. The WHO declared B.1.617 a “variant of concern” this week and mentioned some proof suggests it could be extra transmissible than different strains.

The UK has reported extra circumstances of B.1.617 and its sublineages than some other nation exterior India, in line with the WHO.

On Thursday, Public Health England mentioned circumstances of the variant had elevated from 520 to 1,313 up to now week. The variant has unfold most throughout the northwest and in London, the place measures comparable to cell testing, door to door testing and vaccine buses have been being deployed, PHE mentioned in a press release. In areas most affected, well being authorities mentioned they deliberate to implement “additional control measures” together with speedy testing and tracing in areas the place there may be elevated unfold.

“We need to act collectively and responsibly to ensure that variants do not impact on the progress we have all made to drive down levels of Covid-19 and the increased freedom that brings,” Dr. Susan Hopkins, Covid-19 Strategic Response Director at PHE, mentioned within the assertion

England enters section two of its plan to carry restrictions on Monday, beneath which indoor eating will re-open.

“At the moment there’s a very wide range of scientific opinion about what could happen, but we want to make sure that we take all the prudential, all the cautious steps now that we could take,” Johnson mentioned. “There’s a range of things that we could do, we’re ruling nothing out.”

Johnson promised “you’ll be hearing a lot more before the end of the month, about what the world will exactly look like from June 21st”.

“But as I’ve said before, I am cautiously optimistic about that. And provided this Indian variant — B.1.617.2 — doesn’t take off in the way that some people fear, I think certainly things could get back much, much closer to normality.”

UK minister James Cleverly mentioned the federal government is ready to take choices “based on the data and the evidence” offered by the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE).

“The Prime Minister, the Health Secretary has always been clear that the easing of restrictions which allow us to get back to normality will be done at a pace and in a way which is safe, and we will always be driven by the data,” he instructed Sky News earlier Thursday.

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