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Scientists have discovered that the new coronavirus strain could be 30 per cent more deadly than the original virus.
The government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) has concluded that the new UK Covid-19 variant may more lethal than the original strain, ITV’s Robert Peston reported today.
Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance addressed the issue at the press conference with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday evening.
At the conference Johnson confirmed there was now scientific evidence that the new strain was more deadly than the original virus.
It has already been confirmed to be far more easily transmitted than the older one one and it has been blamed for the huge increases in cases across the country in the last month.
Professor Neil Ferguson, who sits on NERVTAG, told Peston today: “It is a realistic possibility that the new UK variant increases the risk of death, but there is considerable remaining uncertainty.
“Four groups – Imperial, LSHTM, PHE and Exeter – have looked at the relationship between people testing positive for the variant vs old strains and the risk of death.
“That suggests a 1.3-fold increased risk of death. So for 60 year-olds, 13 in 1000 might die compared with 10 in 1000 for old strains.”
However, he warned that only eight per cent of deaths contain information about which strain they had had.
It comes after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a further 71 coronavirus deaths have been recorded in Scotland over the last 24 hours.
The First Minister also announced that 1,480 new cases of Covid-19 were reported overnight, taking the total figure to 169,699.
2,053 people are in hospital being treated for the deadly virus, up 49 from yesterday, while 161 people remain in intensive care.
Of the new cases 427 were in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 273 in Lanarkshire and 166 in Lothian. The rest are split between 10 other health boards in Scotland.
News – New UK Covid strain ’30 per cent more deadly’ than original virus