Among those who are not vaccinated, the Indian coronavirus mutation can spread “like fire,” warned UK Health Minister Matt Mancock. At the same time, he confirmed that the third stage of easing restrictions in England scheduled for Monday is valid.
The UK Health Minister has warned that the Indian coronavirus mutation may be spreading faster than the UK variant detected late last year in Kent, which caused a very large spike in winter infections, and in some parts of the country such as Bolton and Blackburn in the North West of England. already becoming dominant.
‘Since this variant can spread even faster than the Kent variant – we saw what happened to it in December – it means that if it gets out of hand, we will have a very, very large number of cases. And even with the protection offered by the vaccine – this protection is very high, but not absolute – said Matt Hancock in an interview with Sky News on Sunday.
The final decision will be made on June 14
The minister confirmed that the third phase of easing pandemic restrictions in England scheduled for Monday is valid, despite the spread of the Indian mutation, and the decision to move to the fourth will be made on June 14. However, he did not rule out introducing additional local restrictions in places most affected by the Indian variant.
– The final decision (on lifting the restrictions) will be made on June 14. We always said we wanted to do it carefully, he said. – The new variants are one of the biggest threats to this opening. Due to the speed of its transmission, it can really spread like fire to unvaccinated groups, so we need to vaccinate as many people as possible, especially those who are most at risk of being hospitalized, ‘added Hancock.
The fourth and final stage of lifting the restrictions in England is scheduled for June 21. On Friday, however, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted that the spread of the Indian mutation puts this date into question.
British authorities said on Thursday that 1,313 cases of the Indian variant have been detected in the country so far, which means that their number has increased sixfold in two weeks.
Main photo source: NEIL HALL / EPA / PAP