VSContinuing on from our previous article, outlining Dr Harries’ comments this morning:
Are we seeing an increase in hospital cases due to the Indian variant?
Not yet, says Dr Harries, although she warns that the data will pass slowly. A technical briefing released over the weekend shows that until May 19, the UK had seen six deaths among those with the Indian variant.
“The vast majority of them are people who have not been vaccinated and also elderly people,” says Dr Harries. “From that point of view it looks great, but it’s still early days.”
And the transmission?
Dr Harries says the jury is still out, but most people think the variant is around 20-30% more contagious than the Kent variant, B117.
Will the roadmap be affected by the India variant?
“Fortunately, the roadmap is not my responsibility,” says Dr Harries, but adds that the data “looks good”.
But she urges people to continue to obey all safety “guidelines”. We must not stop doing what we are doing, especially in the areas where we have this variant, in the North West and around London.
“It’s really important that we keep doing the hands, face, space, work from home, and as we’ve heard, a second dose is very important.
So you prefer to be careful?
“Absolutely, I think we all have to be really careful and I think we don’t all want to go back to the kind of lockdown we’ve had,” Dr Harris said. “It doesn’t matter if you are on SAGE or in the public leading normal lives, we all want to avoid a lockdown.”