The British government, faced with an increase in Covid-19 contamination, said on Tuesday to “monitor very closely” a new subvariant spreading in the United Kingdom, without it being established as it is if it is. more contagious.
This “AY4.2” variant is a sub-variant of the highly contagious Delta which initially appeared in India and which had caused a resumption of the epidemic in late spring and early summer.
“We are monitoring” this new form very closely “and we will not hesitate to take action if necessary,” said a spokesperson for Downing Street. However, “nothing suggests that it spreads more easily”, he tried to reassure.
The emergence of this new variant despite the very strong contagiousness of the Delta, which tends to rule out new strains, raises fears of an even stronger transmissibility. It comes as the United Kingdom, which deplores nearly 139,000 deaths from Covid-19, is faced with a growing number of positive cases, now exceeding 40,000 each day, an incidence rate much higher than in the rest from Europe.
Some scientists attribute the current degradation, which for the moment mainly concerns adolescents and young adults, to the weak vaccination of minors, to the decrease in the immunity of the oldest vaccinated very early, or to the lifting in July in England. most of the restrictions such as indoor masks.
The new variant AY4.2 is almost non-existent outside of the UK, apart from three cases in the US and a few more in Denmark, which have since almost disappeared.
Work is underway to test its resistance to vaccines.
SL (with MAP)