In England it is the day of phase three: cinemas and theaters are back in business, pubs and restaurants can also serve in their internal premises and not only in outdoor spaces. The travel ban has also been removed, replaced by a “traffic light system”. But the spread of the coronavirus mutation, first identified in the subcontinent, is cooling enthusiasm and has led Prime Minister Boris Johnson to say that the last exit from the lockdown could be postponed. (The correspondent from London)
LONDON – Now they say that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has delayed the stop of flights to and from India as much as possible in order not to upset Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Bojo was supposed to leave at the end of April for a bilateral event, and then there was the Indian delegation to be hosted in London at the beginning of May for the G7 of foreign ministers extended to other countries. But it had already been known for at least mid-April that the Indian variant was spreading across the country. With reporters asking him for an account of the situation, Johnson minimized until the end, and canceled the trip to India only when it was now clear that it would represent too great a risk.
The double mutation resistant vaccine
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It was not known at the time, however, that a first Indian variant (B.1.617.1) arrived in the UK in spite of all controls, at a stage in which the mandatory quarantine was already in force for a list of “red” countries. hotels chosen by the government (curiously, the list included Pakistan but not India), had a double mutation and seems to have problems with resistance to vaccines. Fortunately, it was then another Indian variant that spread rapidly: B.1.617.2 which would have lost the second mutation (the one that would have turned out to be resistant vaccine).
More contagious than the English variant
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However, an important problem remains and is linked to the contagiousness of the variant, as explained by Johnson himself, at a press conference on Friday. According to the data (essential for moving forward with the “Roadmap to freedom”), in places like Bolton and Blackburn, both not far from Manchester, the number of infections doubled in the last two weeks of April, and doubled again in the first week of May. The Indian variant would be 50% more contagious than the English one.
The rush to vaccinate
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“In Bolton – explained health minister Matt Hancock – there are several people in the hospital with the new Indian variant, most of whom had been called for the vaccine but did not show up. The new variants pose the biggest threat to reopening. The speed with which they spread means that an outbreak can soon turn into a fire among the groups that have not been vaccinated ”. Glasgow and Moray, Scotland, are in a similar condition, to the point that today they will remain at guard level 3 and will not move to 2 as foreseen in the schedule of reopening communicated by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Among the deaths in recent days from Covid 19, at least four involved this variant, which according to Chris Witty, head of the scientific task force that helps the government, will soon overtake the English one in the number of compressive infections.
20 million reached with second dose
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The only thing the London government can do, therefore, is to further accelerate its vaccination campaign. Johnson announced a reduction from 12 to 8 weeks for people over 50 and for people with chronic diseases. The commitment is to look for the amount of the doses