UK experienced more infectious coronavirus strain linked to South Africa. Prime Minister of UK, Boris Johnson imposed restrictions during the festive season in the country. A ban on travel has been announced between different neighbouring countries.
UK is facing the effects of two corona mutant strains. The B1.1.6 viral strain has spread throughout UK. At the same time, a new contagious strain of coronavirus has also entered from South Africa. New viral strains have spread to various parts of the country from the people who have entered UK in the last few weeks from South Africa.
The department of health in South Africa stated that new strains of coronavirus had been observed in the country that were more contagious and having capability to spread quickly. The new strain of SARS-COV-2 is called ‘501.V2’ and it has the capability to mutate rapidly. Genetic mutation has made this new strain so contagious. It was reported that ‘501.V2’ viral strain has been found in the bodies of some people in UK.
Scientists told that the new coronavirus strain is much different from the first one that was found in South Africa. It is assumed that the new strain has been developed due to genetic mutation of the virus. The health experts also told that reinfection might be possible due to this new strain. However, several biomedical journals have claimed that this new strain may not affect the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Top US scientists like Jerome Adams and Scott Gottlieb told that the existing vaccines would work on the new strains. David Robertson, a Professor in University of Glasgow, Scotland, told that the virus would be able to generate vaccine escape mutants, but it would take a long time.
The SARS-COV-2 viral strain has been identified in about five thousand genomes. It was observed that its every strain is different from each other. They can change the structure of their gene so quickly that every viral strain can enter into the human body and find a way to replicate. Their receptor binding domains also change with this quick mutation. That is why coronavirus can find a way to get into the cells of different human organs.
The new strain of coronavirus spread in UK was first discovered in south-east England in the month of September. Now, it has spread all over the UK. According to the Ministry of Health, this new strain B1.1.6 was found in the bodies of 50 percent of the Covid-patients in October, 2020. The new strain has now spread to several other European countries from UK. They have been found in the Netherlands, Belgium and Australia also.
However, detailed information on how highly contagious this viral strain can be and how complex its effects can be is not yet available. It is only known that this new strain can spread very quickly. That is why it is called ‘super spreader’. More than 30 countries have already cut off air links to UK to prevent the strain from spreading. Neighbours of UK have also sealed their borders.