A new variant of coronavirus appears in the UK as London moves to level 3 restrictions

By Hanie Abdul Razak

A new variant of coronavirus is believed to be the cause of a very strong increase in infections, the British government said in Parliament on Monday. As a result, London and three parts of the surrounding counties are subject to level 3 restrictions as of Wednesday.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said more than 1,000 cases of the new variant had been identified, predominantly in the south of England. He also called for swift and decisive action to contain this new option, as the multiplication of cases has reached worrying levels.

The health secretary has allayed concerns that the new variant is unlikely to affect the vaccine’s effectiveness.

Level 3 restrictions would require the closure of hospitality venues, such as pubs, restaurants and in the entertainment sector, such as theaters, etc. People from different households will not be allowed to mix inside. However, up to six people can gather outdoors. Shops and schools can also remain open.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan called the move incredibly disappointing for business, but acknowledged the need to return to a state of near-closure.

Sky News scientific correspondent Thomas Moore also said that moving the virus is extremely common and that as a virus adapts to the human body, it actually has milder symptoms, as in the case of the common cold.

What is worrying about a potential mutation in the coronavirus is a mutation in the spike protein, a protein that covers the new coronavirus. The Pfizer vaccine works by producing this spike protein in the body, and the immune system responds to it as a foreign material.

Catherine Bennett, a professor of epidemiology at the Faculty of Health at Deakin University in Melbourne, told Sky News that “If the virus changes substantially, especially spike proteins, then it could get rid of a vaccine. We want to slow down global transmission to slow down the clock. ”

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