Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London has given a grim warning that the new variant of the virus is “more explosive” in schools across London and the South East.
Professor Ferguson said there has been more “anecdotal reports” in recent weeks and the virus in these areas is most prevalent.
The Education Minister Gavin Williams ordered schools to stay open, despite London councils arguing that they should be closed.
As a result schools in London and the South East have now seen an explosive outbreak of the new variant of the virus which is more contagious.
Dr David Nabarro who is the Special Envoy for Covid-19 of the World Health Organization (WHO) also expressed his concern to Sky News, that the new variant “appears to be more easily transmissible in younger people.”
He added, that research work is currently “underway” in order to understand the new variant.
Professor Mark Harris, a virologist at Leeds University also said, “There is a concern that if this really is replicating or growing better in children, then it could have a knock-on effect for the spread of the virus throughout the entire population of the UK.”
Scientists have warned that the new variant “almost certainly” spreads faster than the original virus, but they have no idea why.
Professor Peter Horby, chair of the NERVTAG advisory committee gave three possible reasons as to why the new variant spreads faster.
Professor Horby said, the new variant “results in a higher viral load in infected people so they pass it on more easily. There is preliminary evidence of this.”
Or the second possibility is that “people become infectious more quickly after being exposed. If they don’t have symptoms they could unwittingly pass the virus on.”
And lastly, the NERVTAG chair said that “people are infectious for longer, so there is a greater chance of coming into contact with other people, perhaps after they have stopped isolating.”
However, the end result is still the same, the new variant spreads faster.