September 19, 2021

UK Covid live news: Johnson says threat posed by Indian variant will be clearer ‘in a few days’

Latest updates: prime minister says nothing conclusive at the moment showing a need to deviate...

Latest updates: prime minister says nothing conclusive at the moment showing a need to deviate from road map

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1.36pm BST

In his interview Boris Johnson said he was taking a very close look at what the data from places like Bolton is saying about the threat posed by the Indian variant. (See 1.13pm.)

If you want to know what sort of data he will be looking at, you should take a look at the latest Twitter thread from John Burn-Murdoch, the FT’s data specialist. It starts here.

NEW: latest update on B.1.617.2 in UK

Story: https://t.co/CL0M0POz84

Thread:

First, today’s Sanger data on variants at local level. On the surface, this doesn’t look good. Cases of non-B.1.617.2 are in decline, but those red peaks are the variant sending overall rates climbing pic.twitter.com/nP2VkiQjQG

To be clear, the above is just one theory. It remains entirely possible B.1.617.2 is more transmissible and could fuel a UK resurgence.

But so far, that’s not happening. A brief rise in cases last week now appears as a small bump, possibly caused by bank holiday testing patterns pic.twitter.com/C8astzmQtg

1.20pm BST

As is usual in politics, the PM’s words can be interpreted in different ways.

ITV’s Romilly Weeks thinks he sounds relatively optimistic.

PM sounding relatively optimistic about effect of Indian variant on unlocking- “I don’t see anything conclusive to say we need to deviate from the road map”

PM May 18: We’re looking v carefully at the data & trying to work out to what extent the new variant more transmissible “but at moment nothing conclusive to say we have to deviate from road map”

PM May 11: Looking to June 21: “At the moment I’m feeling very positive about it”

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