Concerns mounting over new variants of COVID-19

By Staff Writer, MyVue,

Basseterre, 8th January, 2021 ( With the outbreak of a new strain of the Coronavirus in England, local health officials in St. Kitts and Nevis are cautioning citizens who may be planning to travel from the UK to Basseterre, that they will face a mandatory 2 weeks quarantine.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel laws said in a recent briefing, “Once you are a returning national from the United Kingdom, you won’t be allowed to vacation in place. You will be quarantined and confined to your rooms for the two-week period.”
She explained that there is a new variant strain of the SARS-CoV-2 found in South Africa and Nigeria, and a new variant spreading across most of England.

The CMO stated that the new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is more transmissible at 56 to 70 percent than the previous forms; it spreads more easily between people; does not seem to make people sicker; however, it will spread faster and infect more people and because of this, the death toll will increase.
Laws said the science seems to suggest that the three strains of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus are different.

“The scientists seem to have done quite a bit of work on the new variant that is circulating in the United Kingdom (UK). What they are saying is that this new variant is highly more transmissible than the virus’ previous version.”
As a result the number of cases in the UK have been rising and on 5th January, 2021, the number of new daily confirmed cases in the UK topped 60,000 for the first time.

The number of patients in hospitals in the UK is 40 times higher than what they experienced during the first peak in 2020.
As a result of that, England is in its third national lockdown coming into force and this may extend until approximately mid-February of this year.

Returning nationals from the UK must be quarantined (confined to their rooms) for the two-week quarantine period. They will then have the requisite RT-PCR test done. Once it is negative, they will be able to integrate into society, stated the CMO.
A new variant has also been found in Colorado and California.

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