A scientific expert has said the new UK Indian variant of Covid has been upgraded from a “variant of concern” to “warning level.”
US epidemiologist Dr Eric Feigl-Ding warned that the new variant is likely to be ‘dominant within days’ in the UK.
As the government are easing the lockdown restrictions the Indian variant could become exacerbated as the deadly strain is hitting the UK at the same time.
This could be a “recipe for disaster” many epidemiologists and virologists have warned over the coincidence of the arrival of the new variant and lockdown lifting.
Dr Feigl-Ding said, “The new faster transmission B16172, Indian variant, will likely dethrone the B117, Brazilian variant, and become dominant in the United Kingdom in a matter of days.
“The new Indian variant could pose unknown dangers.
“Since the B16172, Indian variant, was upgraded last week by both World Health Organization (WHO) and the UK, it has doubled in cases.”
He warned that the “Indian variant is worrisome” which is “spreading very fast” through out the UK.”
He added, “That’s why the WHO and the UK have both upgraded it to a variant of concern warning level.”
The epdemiologist said they are worried over a surge of people being admitted to hospital in the Bolton area.
He said that the new Indian variant “has increased, rising by 20% in 24 hours,” and a “hospital in Bolton is opening an extra ward for coronavirus, as a previous ward is now full.”
He added, “Bolton has been hit by the B16172 Indian variant and cases are rising fast in children and young adults.”
Doctor Feigl-Ding has said he is now waiting “for the Public Health England (PHE) report on Bolton outbreak.”
PHE said that a “new Covid triple variant” is “under investigation” in Yorkshire and the Humber.
The new “triple threat” variant of the virus has a “strange combination” of genes which health officials identified, but the public are being urged not to be alarmed.
Professor Andrew Hayward, who is a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and infectious diseases expert at University College London, gave a grim warning that he is “very concerned” the Indian variant is spreading so quickly and said the UK could be at the start of a third wave.
Speaking to the BBC he said, “That really brings it back down to this race against the vaccine and the virus, except the virus just got faster.
The BBC asked him if the UK was at the start of the third wave, the Professor said, “I think so. I think what we can see is that this strain can circulate very effectively, although it was originally imported through travel to India, it’s spread fairly effectively first of all within households and now more broadly within communities, so I don’t really see why it wouldn’t continue to spread in other parts of the country.
“Obviously we’re doing everything we can to contain the spread of that, but it’s likely that more generalised measures may start to be needed to control it.”