The Indian variant worries the UK, which fears a new wave of infections. Some scientists argue for a postponement of the last stage of deconfinement, scheduled in three weeks
The Indian variant is settling in the UK and raising fears of a new wave of infections. Scientists advising the government are seeing a slight increase in contamination. This Monday, a little more than 3,000 new positive cases were identified, a first since April 12.
Vaccination is progressing
According to scientist Ravi Gupta, a member of the Government’s Advisory Board on New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats (Nervtag), the variant detected in India, also named B.1.617.2, accounts for three quarters of positive cases. “Of course the number of cases is relatively low at the moment – all the waves start with a low number of cases growling in the background and then becoming explosive, so the key here is that what we’re seeing here are the signs of ‘an early wave,’ he told BBC Radio 4.
The incidence rate is up 20% over one week. In fact, the number of infected doubles every four weeks.
But at the same time, vaccination is advancing in the UK. 74% of adults received an injection. So, according to the scientist, this wave would probably take longer to emerge than the previous ones. However, the analyzes do not yet show whether the vaccine is sufficiently effective against the variant.
Postpone lifting of restrictions?
While the British are preparing for the lifting of restrictions, scheduled for June 21 with the reopening of nightclubs in particular, Ravi Gupta believes that a postponement “of a few weeks” is necessary to “gather more information”. The government will decide on June 14.
“An untimely end of all the legal restrictions which then led to an upsurge in infections would undermine our health service’s efforts to tackle the biggest backlog of care it has ever faced,” he told the British channel.
The pandemic has killed 128,045 people in the UK, one of the most bereaved countries in Europe.