• Sunday, May 22, 2022

Coronavirus

Britain is investigating variant originating in India

A health worker wearing protective gear takes a nasal swab sample of arriving passengers for conducting RT-PCR Covid-19 coronavirus tests during a screening at a railway terminus in Mumbai on February 22, 2021, as India’s coronavirus cases passed 11 million. (Photo by Indranil MUKHERJEE / AFP) (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Sarwar Alam

British health officials are investigating a COVID-19 variant originating in India but as yet they do not have enough evidence to classify it is as a variant of concern, Susan Hopkins of Public Health England (PHE) said on Sunday.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show on BBC television, Hopkins said: “We have not got enough data about this variant yet to be able to clarify whether it’s a variant of concern. We have put it as a variant under investigation.”

“To escalate it up the ranking we need to know that it’s increased transmissibility, increased severity, or vaccine-evading, and we just don’t have that yet, but we’re looking at the data on a daily basis.”

PHE has said it has identified 77 cases of the variant in Britain.

Earlier, environment minister George Eustice said prime minister Boris Johnson’s trip to India later this month should go ahead despite rising cases in the country.

“It is important that business and the business of politics if you like does continue,” he said, adding that an expert committee periodically reviews decisions about whether to permit travel to certain countries.

Eastern Eye

Related Stories

Eastern Eye

Videos

Mrunal Thakur on Dhamaka, experience of working with Kartik Aaryan,…
Nushrratt Bharuccha on Chhorii, pressure of comparison with Lapachhapi, upcoming…
Abhimanyu Dassani on Meenakshi Sundareshwar, how his mom Bhagyashree reacted…