#UK, #NewCoronavirusVariant; #MoreResearchNeeded; #WHO; #NERVTAGStudy; #B117
United Kingdom/Canadian-Media: More research is needed, said Patrick Vallance, the British government's chief scientific adviser on Friday to prove that the new coronavirus variant first identified in southeast England carries a higher risk of death than the original strain.
Patrick Vallance. Image credit: Twitter handle
Patrick Vallance told a news conference that "there is evidence that there is an increased risk for those who have the new variant" and added that for a man in his 60s with the original version of the virus, "the average risk is that for 1,000 people who got infected, roughly 10 would be expected to unfortunately die."
"With the new variant, for 1,000 people infected, roughly 13 or 14 people might be expected to die," he said.
But Vallance stressed that more research is needed, as this evidence is not very strong.
"It should be noted that the absolute risk of death per infection remains low," the U.K. government's New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) on the variant known as B117 wrote in the paper.
Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization's technical lead on COVID-19, also said that during the study of the new strain "they haven't seen an increase in severity."
It was said by the British officials that they were confident that the authorized vaccines for use against COVID-19 will be effective against the new strain identified in the country.
However, Vallance said scientists are concerned about the new variants identified in Brazil and South Africa, which they feared could be more resistant to vaccines, and added that more research needs to be done.
"We will have to live with coronavirus in one way or another for a long while to come," said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, adding that "it's an open question" when measures could be eased. At this stage you've got to be very, very cautious indeed." said Johnson, CBC News reported.
Vallance also said that the coronavirus is going to be around, probably, forever.