Boris Johnson press conference: PM to address nation tonight amid panic at Indian variant


Yesterday the Prime Minister was forced to cancel a planned trip to New Delhi next week due to concern over the surging infection rate in India. The country was also added to the UK’s travel “red list” with all arrivals from Friday morning required to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days.

There are fears a “double mutant” Indian variant of coronavirus could be more transmissible and more deadly.

There are 103 cases in the UK according to official figures.

Last week there were 77 cases reported.

Scientists are urgently investigating to determine if the new stain is behind the surging rates of Covid in India.

Mr Johnson will update the nation on the latest information about the situation at 5pm tonight.

Yesterday Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs: “We’ve recently seen a new variant first identified in India.

“We’ve now detected 103 cases of this variant, of which again the vast majority have links to international travel and have been picked up by our testing at the border.”

Mr Hancock said the samples have been analysed to see if the new variant has any “concerning characteristics” such as greater transmissibility or resistance to treatments and vaccines.

He added: “After studying the data, and on a precautionary basis, we’ve made the difficult but vital decision to add India to the red list.”

More to follow…


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