New coronavirus strain 70% more infectious: Key points

New coronavirus strain 70% more infectious: Here's all you need to know

The UK government has placed a strict lockdown to curb this new variant which is spreading rapidly, especially in London

Experts are unable to ascertain the effects of the virus yet, which is why the UK government has put in place a precautionary lockdown. Credit: iStock Photo

The United Kingdom has gone back into strict lockdown due to the discovery of the new strain of the Sars-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19, weeks after it started vaccinating against the virus. 

The UK government said the highly contagious infection was “out of control” which has led to many countries including France, Italy, Germany, Belgium and Austria, banning flights to and from the country.

Here are the countries that have blocked flights from UK so far

Here is all you need to know about the new coronavirus strain:

Why is this strain dangerous?

Experts have deemed this new virus at least 70 per cent more infectious than the other strains of the virus. Most new positive cases that have surfaced in the UK, especially in London, have been because of the new strain.

It is believed that this new, more contagious virus is fast replacing other versions, which would enable the virus to multiply.

Experts are unable to ascertain the effects of the virus yet, which is why the UK government has put in place a precautionary lockdown. “It is really too early to tell but from what we see so far it is growing very quickly, it is growing faster than (a previous variant) ever grew,” PM Boris Johnson said in a release.

Why is this particular strain important?

Since the coronavirus was detected in China, it has seen alterations in its structure, but the UK variant has seen an abnormally large number of mutations. Moreover, this is the only variant which has seen infections growing at a rapid rate.

Also Read | What does a mutating coronavirus mean for us?

Where has the new variant spread?

The new variant is currently heavily concentrated in the UK, except Northern Island. There have been nine cases of the new strain in Turkey. There are also cases found in the Netherlands, Denmark, Australia, Italy and South Africa.

Will the new virus be more fatal?

Health experts have not found any reason to believe that this will have any different effects from the other strains of the virus. However, they condoned the UK government’s precautions, saying it should be monitored.

Will this affect vaccinations and tests?

Doctors and experts do not believe that this will affect the vaccinations yet.