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Coronavirus variant found in India causes concern in the UK

London, May 13 (Prensa Latina) British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday admitted he is concerned about the spread in the UK of the coronavirus variant identified in India, although he will continue with his agenda on lifting the lockdown.

I believe that we will have to wait a little bit longer before obtaining all the information, but I am cautiously optimistic that if this variant does not spread the way some people fear, things will be closer to normalcy, the prime minister said during a visit to a school in County Durham, in northeastern Britain.

According to health authorities, the variant B.1.617, first detected in that South Asian country in October, is three times more contagious than other prevailing strains in the UK, and it is responsible for the increase in positive cases in several British regions.

The experts’ warning questioned the lifting of the lockdown started by the government in March, and that must continue next week with the total reopening of pubs and restaurants, and the end of the ban on family reunions under the same roof.

The fourth and last step of the agenda will come into effect on June 21, when all social distancing measures in force will be lifted, and things will go back to normal.

However, Johnson considered that, so far, there is nothing that will make him give up moving ahead with the lifting of lockdown on May 17 and June 21, respectively.

Nevertheless, the prime minister clarified that all decisions that the government will make will be based on the criterion of scientific advisors, so he will not hesitate, he said, to take some local measures if it were necessary.

The United Kingdom on Thursday had a surge in new cases after several days with a sustained decline. It reported 2,657 new cases, so the total number of cases since the outbreak of the pandemic rose to 4,444,631.