UK – New variant of coronavirus identified in the UK

Health officials say they have identified a new strain of coronavirus in the UK, as a soaring number of cases has pushed several areas in the South East into into Tier 3 lockdown.

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock and chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty have stressed that at present there is nothing to suggest that the new variant causes more severe disease or that vaccines would be ineffective.

The strain was identified due to Public Health England’s (PHE) enhanced monitoring following the increase in cases seen in Kent and London. The variant has been named ‘VUI – 202012/01’ (the first Variant Under Investigation in December 2020)….