Covid-19: UK variant ‘may be more deadly’ but nation’s R number drops

We already knew that the variant of Covid-19, first discovered in south-east England, was more transmissible, but now – at a briefing on Downing Street – Prime Minister Boris Johnson has revealed that it may also be “linked to higher mortality rates”. Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK’s scientific adviser, said if the old variant could kill 10 out of 1,000 men in their sixties who contracted the virus, the new variant could kill 13 or 14 in 1,000. However, he added, “These numbers are very uncertain and we need more work to get them under control.”

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