Professor warns that covid situation ‘can go wrong again’
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A frontline health worker in Delhi has warned the new coronavirus mutation first discovered in India is proving to be highly infectious and is spreading very fast. Dr Alok Chopra also spoke of patients appearing with the mutated strain of the virus despite having reported little or no contact with someone who was showing symptoms which he believed was evidence the mutation was now airborne. The worrying developments come as UK authorities scramble to contain the first emergence of the deadly new strain in Britain.
Describing the situation on the ground for frontline medical workers in Delhi, Dr Chopra told TimesRadio: “We are in a lot of trouble.”
He reported receiving patients with Covid who had received little or no exposure to the virus which he suggested pointed to new airborne transmissions.
Dr Chopra said: “You see people without any or sometimes not enough exposure suddenly landing up.
“Which is lending credence to the fact there may be an aerosol or airborne transmission.”
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Dr Chopra continued: “It is difficult to believe that but if it is happening it must be true.
“Because normally is it only close contact which has been working since.
He added that while failure to obey social distancing measure may play a part the bigger cause of cases was the new “dry mutant strain.”
The medic told TimesRadio: “People in the last few months have probably let their guard down a little bit and I think one of the reasons could be that.
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But he added: “The bigger reason is the dry mutant strain which is very infectious and spreading very quickly.”
His stark warning comes amid fears the highly infectious strain has already entered the UK
Transmission has already been found in three cases that did not involve travel suggesting the Indian variant has begun to spread through the general population.
Meanwhile, health authorities in Britain have identified 55 new infections of the mutation bring the total number of cases traced to 132, as of Friday morning.
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Fears over the variant, referred to as the B.1.617, have seen India added to the UK travel “red list.”
Having the move comes as border force officials and Europol have flagged the risks posed by travelers using fake documents to circumvent international travel bans.
The use of the counterfeit documents has been flagged as a potential backdoor through which new coronavirus strains could enter the UK undetected.
When pressed by MPs over how border officers were screening for the fake documents, Lucy Morton of the Immigration Services Union (ISU) admitted: “We’re not is the simple answer, it’s predominately taken on trust.”
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