New “out of control” COVID-19 strain could be 70 percent more transmissible

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On Sunday, Britain’s health minister warned that after a new strain of the coronavirus went “out of control”, strict lockdown imposed on London and southeast England may last for months, reported an international news agency, Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Health minister Matt Hancock warned that the strict measures, affecting almost a third of England’s population, could stay in place until the virus vaccine is completely rolled out.

Earlier, on Saturday, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK), Boris Johnson, had announced that millions of people must stay at home and cancel their Christmas plans from Sunday morning as the new strain has been spreading more quickly than ever.

In November, Susan Hopkins of Public Health England, an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care, told Sky News that scientists discovered the new strain was behind a cluster of cases in Kent that spread into London and Essex.

Hopkins confirmed the figure given by Johnson of the new virus strain. She confirmed the figure given by Johnson that the new virus strain could be 70 percent more transmissible while saying this was an initial figure.

Talking to Sky News, Hancock said, “We acted very quickly and decisively,” justifying the “stay at home” order, ban on family gatherings over Christmas, and closure of non-essential shops. “Unfortunately the new strain was out of control. We have got to get it under control.”

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