Is the new coronavirus strain a cause for concern?
December 21, 2020 - Concerns are growing over a highly infectious strain of coronavirus that has emerged in the UK. The new variant, called B.1.1.7, is already present elsewhere in the world, scientists have warned.
The World Health Organisation said its Evolution Working Group was working closely with the UK medical authorities to understand how the variant is likely to affect the course of the pandemic. It has been detected in the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia, according to a Financial Times report.
Scientists said two aspects of B.1.1.7 gave cause for concern. One is the unprecedented number of mutations it carries. The other was the speed with which it is supplanting other strains of the SARS-Cov-2 virus in south-east England.