UK Covid: new coronavirus variant could be 30% more lethal than original - as it happened

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Here is the published on the new UK variant, which was referenced in the press conference earlier this evening.

The variant appears to have increased transmissibility compared to other variants in the UK and some recent analyses have been undertaken which show that there may be an increase in the severity of disease associated with this new variant, as the prime minister announced.

There is evidence from some but not all data sources which suggests that the variant of concern which was first detected in the UK may lead to a higher risk of death than the non-variant. Evidence on this variant is still emerging and more work is underway to fully understand how it behaves.

Covid-19 is still very much with us and causing severe illness and death. The most important thing is to stay at home. Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, cover you face and keep your distance. Remember that every unnecessary contact with someone else may create a chain of transmission that eventually leads to a vulnerable person becoming seriously unwell.

That’s all for today. If you would like to continue following the Guardian’s worldwide coverage of the pandemic, head over to our global live blog.

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