New UK Covid variant may be 30% more deadly, says Johnson

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PM warns B117 may increase death rate as well as being up to 70% more transmissible

The new UK coronavirus variant may be 30% more deadly, Boris Johnson said on Friday as he warned of stricter travel curbs and continued lockdown measures while the infection rate remains “forbiddingly high”.

In findings that dampened hopes of the increasingly prevalent B117 variant becoming less lethal over time, researchers on the government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag) concluded that it may increase the death rate by 30%-40%.

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