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London to move to highest alert as new coronavirus variant identified in UK

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs in the House of Commons that "swift and decisive action" was needed as the doubling rate of the deadly virus has hit just seven days in many of these areas.

By: PTI | London | Updated: December 15, 2020 11:01:29 am
new coronavirus variant, London on highest alert, UK covid cases, London lockdown, UK lockdown, London coronavirus cases, London news, World news, Indian express newsPedestrian sit in Paternoster Square in the City of London. (Bloomberg)

Britain’s capital will be placed under the highest level of coronavirus restrictions from Wednesday amid a “very sharp” spike in COVID-19 cases in London and its surrounding areas and a new variant of coronavirus being identified as responsible for the “faster spread”, the UK government announced in Parliament on Monday.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs in the House of Commons that “swift and decisive action” was needed as the doubling rate of the deadly virus has hit just seven days in many of these areas.

Tier-3 restrictions, the highest level in England’s three-tier system, mean a near-complete lockdown, with people allowed to meet those they do not live with only in outdoor settings and hospitality venues directed to shut except for takeaways and deliveries.

“A new variant of coronavirus has been identified in the UK, which may be associated with the fastest spread in the southeast of England,” said Hancock.

“We do not know the extent to which this is because of the new variant but no matter its cause, we have to take swift and decisive action which unfortunately is absolutely essential to control this deadly disease while the vaccine is rolled out… We must act now to shift the curve… because when the virus moves quickly, we must move quickly too,” he said.

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