Transport Secretary Grant Shapps stated immediately there are issues the brand new coronavirus variant might “defeat the vaccine” and it has meant the journey crimson listing has made a return.
Mr Shapps stated there’s apprehension in regards to the “very quick” unfold of the brand new variant and that ministers acted rapidly so as to add six nations to the Authorities’s journey crimson listing.
UK well being officers sounded the alarm on Thursday evening over the B.1.1.529 variant, which has the potential to evade immunity constructed up by vaccination or prior an infection.
It has led to South Africa Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini and Zimbabwe all being added to the crimson listing that means resort quarantine for these travelling from these nations to the UK might be required once more.
Jenny Harries, the chief government of the UK’s Well being Safety Company (UKHSA) says: “That is essentially the most important variant we’ve got encountered up to now and pressing analysis is underway to study extra about its transmissibility, severity and vaccine-susceptibility.”
The variant, which descends from the B.1.1 lineage, has an “extremely excessive” variety of mutations, specialists say, with fears that it’s extremely transmissible and efficient at evading the physique’s immune response.
The World Well being Organisation depends on the Greek alphabet to call new variants of concern, which implies B.1.1529 might ultimately be known as Nu, as that is the subsequent out there letter.
B.1.1529 has 32 mutations situated in its spike protein. These embody E484A, K417N and N440K, that are related to serving to the virus to flee detection from antibodies.
One other mutation, N501Y, which is discovered within the spike protein, seems to extend the power of the virus to realize entry to our cells, making it extra transmissible.
However what does this imply for an infection charges all over the world and what’s more likely to occur to journey restrictions over coming weeks?
Tim White, the Covid information analyst who tweets as @TWMCLtd, has trawled by the genomic sequencing data held by Gisaid, the worldwide database, with a concentrate on variants of concern.
He might be readily available to reply all of your newest journey questions across the newest announcement and what may occur to the site visitors gentle system in coming weeks throughout a dwell ‘ask me something’ occasion being held on this web page immediately (26 November).
Be a part of Tim at 5pm immediately, 26 November, when he’ll be readily available to reply your journey questions on all the most recent guidelines and restrictions dwell.
Register to submit your query within the Feedback under. For those who’re not already a member, click on “join” within the Feedback field to depart your query.
Don’t fear should you can’t see your query – they are going to be hidden till Tim joins the dialog to reply them.
Then be a part of us dwell on this web page from 5-6pm as he tackles as many as he can inside an hour.