New Coronavirus Variant Discovered in Wales Linked to South of Englands Rapid Rise in Cases.
The Welsh Government said there are at least 10 confirmed cases in Wales and more are expected to be identified. The new mutational variation of Covid-19 discovered in Wales has been linked to a rapid increase in the spread of the virus in the south of England, areas that have now been put into Tier 3 restrictions.
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “It is natural for a virus to mutate over time and we have seen a range of mutations in Wales. In relation to this particular mutation, we have identified 10 confirmed cases and 5 probable cases through sequencing that took place during November – further sequencing is underway and we expect to identify further cases. Public Health Wales is actively looking for this variant and will be tracking any other Welsh cases as they emerge. Our findings will be feeding into the work being undertaken across the UK.”
Mr Hancock told the Commons yesterday that the World Health Organisation has been notified and that the strain is being studied by Public Health England at Porton Down. He said, quote: “I must stress at this point that there is currently nothing to suggest that this variant is more likely to cause serious disease and the latest clinical advice is that it’s highly unlikely that this mutation would fail to respond to a vaccine, but it shows we’ve got to be vigilant and follow the rules and everyone needs to take personal responsibility not to spread this virus.”
The senior responsible officer for the Covid-19 vaccine in Wales, Dr Gill Richardson, said, quote: “Viruses are living beings that change and adapt, and we know that since the original Wuhan virus there [have] actually been 25 mutations. It’s important to say that at the moment it is not thought to affect the behaviour of the virus at all, and it’s not thought to affect the effectiveness of the vaccine.”
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