Delta-hit UK mulls 4-week extension to lockdown

01:15 AM Jun 13, 2021 | Agencies


The UK government is considering a delay of up to four weeks from the scheduled June 21 end to all lockdown restrictions amid a continuing rise in cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19, according to a media report on Saturday.


It comes as the country reported 8,125 new Covid-19 cases in a 24-hour period, another record daily high since the end of February, and Public Health England (PHE) found infections from the Delta variant, the B1.617.2 variant of concern first identified in India, rose by 30,000 in a week to hit 42,323.


Sources told BBC no final decision was made and options were being evaluated as the latest data is studied before UK PM Boris Johnson makes a scheduled announcement about lockdown on Monday.

“It's not just about the number of hospitalisations, but the risk to the health of large numbers of younger people, who can suffer long-term symptoms,” said BMA council chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul.

Chinese experts find batch of new coronaviruses in bats: Report

Washington: Amid renewed calls to probe into the origins of Covid-19, Chinese researchers said they had found a batch of new corona­viruses in bats. The newly found viruses in the bats include one that may be the second-closest yet (genetically) to the Covid-19 virus, CNN reported. The researchers say their discoveries in southwestern China show just how many coronaviruses are there in bats and how many have the potential to spread to people. In a report published in the journal Cell, the Chinese researchers from Shandong University said, "In total, we assembled 24 novel coronavirus genomes from different bat species, including four SARS-CoV-2 like coronaviruses." The sam­p­les were collected from small, forest-dwelling bats between May 2019 and Nov 2020. The researchers say they tested urine and faeces as well as taking swabs from the bats’ mouths. As per the Chinese rese­archers, one of the viruses was very similar, genetically to the SARS-CoV-2 virus causing the ongoing pandemic.

"It would be the closest strain to SARS-CoV-2 except for genetic differences on the spike pro­t­e­in, the knob-like structure that the virus uses when attaching to cells.”


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