Plus, what are the implications for the UK’s pandemic strategy if lockdown rules were broken by the government?
Dr Amir Khan
Dr Amir Khan is an NHS doctor and Senior Lecturer at The University of Leeds School of Medicine and The University of Bradford in the UK.
Experts say two variants can cross over to form a recombinant version of both variants but this has not happened yet.
Are quarantine rule changes based on the best health science or are they being governed by concern for the economy?
Early laboratory studies show the more transmissible variant replicates less efficiently once inside the lung tissue.
Even if it’s milder than Delta, high transmissibility means three times more cases, and more hospitalisation and deaths.
As cases surge, it would be safer to impose tough restrictions until we understand the behaviour of the new variant.
COVID in pregnant women can increase the risk of preterm labour and the associated long-term complications for babies.
Evidence suggests the new variant may be more transmissible than Delta, but there are still many unknowns at play.
Plus, are low COVID vaccine rates leading to a ‘fourth wave’ in Europe?
A gene more prevalent among some ethnic groups worsens risk of respiratory failure. But there are other factors at play.