Covid-19: Britain is investigating variant originating in India

Covid-19: Britain is investigating variant originating in India

Bangladesh, which had the South Africa but not the Brazil variant, and Pakistan, which had neither, were added to the red list on 9 April.

What is happening in India?

Now, surging infections in India - where officials have recorded five consecutive days of more than 200,000 cases - have led to its entire cancellation.

There were more than 280,000 new infections on Sunday, almost triple the previous high seen in September.

But Mr Eustice said that, despite the rising infection rates, "it is appropriate" for Mr Johnson to visit the country as planned in the last week of April. That took the total number of confirmed cases to almost 14.8 million, with the chief minister of New Delhi warning that hospital beds were " filling fast".

This now stands at an average of 25 deaths reported per day - the lowest it has been since September 19, and down 98% from the second-wave peak of 1,248.

Confirming 103 cases of the India variant had now been detected, Hancock told the House of Commons: "The vast majority have links to worldwide travel and have been picked up by our testing at the border".

"There are new variants emerging all around the world".

Is the Indian variant more transmissible and will vaccines still work against it? "This is a key moment for a transformed UK-India relationship, boosting UK-India trade to new heights", he said.

"The second is the same as the Californian, which has been associated in labs with escaping immunity - both of antibodies and T-cells - and also increased transmissibility".

Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show on BBC television, Hopkinssaid: "We have not got enough data about this variant yet to beable to clarify whether it's a variant of concern".

The health secretary was unable to confirm whether the UK's existing vaccines would be effective against the India variant, telling MPs: "We simply don't know that".

Should people in the United Kingdom be concerned?

The leaders of the UK's Labour party have urged the Prime Minister to "set an example" and cancel his upcoming trip to India amid a surge of coronavirus cases in the country.

Similar virus curbs already have been imposed in the worst-hit state of Maharashtra, home to India's financial capital, Mumbai. The UK variant is causing around 40 percent of cases in Asia, according to the pathogen-tracking project Nextstrain. We take the advice of the scientific experts on this.

What are the criteria for going on the red list?

Despite the new travel restrictions, the UK's health authorites have not yet reclassified the variant as one of "concern" with Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser for NHS Test and Trace saying on Sunday that further investigation was ongoing to determine whether the strain warranted reclassification.

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