Tuesday 18 May 2021
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theguardian - 29 days ago

UK Covid news: Tories claim pandemic will stop PM campaigning in Scotland – despite planned trip to India

Latest updates: Boris Johnson has been urged to ‘set an example’ and cancel his forthcoming trip to India because of the Covid risk‘If we catch Covid, we die’: UK shielders reflect on still feeling unsafeOxford trial to study effect of immune system on reinfectionCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage 9.45am BST As my colleague Nicola Davis reported last week, only 77 cases of the Indian variant of coronavirus, B1617, have been found in the UK so far. “It is designated a ‘variant under investigation’ but is worrying researchers as it contains two mutations that it is thought may help the virus to evade the body’s immune responses,” Nicola explained.This morning Prof Danny Altmann, professor of immunology at Imperial College London, said he expected B1617 to be upgraded to a “variant of concern” quite soon. That would lead to India being placed on the “red list” for travel, he said (which would probably force Boris Johnson to cancel his trip due to start this weekend). Altmann told Good Morning Britain:At the moment, this particular variant (from India) is called a variant under investigation, not a variant of concern because it hasn’t been escalated to that level yet.My assumption from everything I’ve seen is that it will become a variant of concern. When it becomes a variant of concern, I’d be quite surprised if India wasn’t on the red list.This variant has a couple of mutations that are among those that we think are important that should be watched carefully, but they’re actually probably not at the very kind of top tier of mutations, for example in the B117 - or Kent variant - or the South African variant, that generate the most concern.And in terms of spread, clearly this variant has increased in frequency in India around the same time as their very large and tragic recent wave. 9.36am BST Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary, will make a Common statement this afternoon about the plan for the top six English football clubs to join a new European super league, my colleague Peter Walker reports.Oliver Dowden due to make a Commons statement on the European super league later today, about 5pm-ish.Our concern is for the fans, that they have the best possible sporting experience that they possibly can, that they’re able to support their team.And we don’t want to see a footballing elite, which is by the elite, for the elite, of the elite - we want to make sure grassroots sport is supported and that fans are able to enjoy the kind of experience they’ve had over the past several years. Related: European Super League: fan fury at plans for football breakaway – live! Continue reading...


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