The Indian coronavirus mutation could “scupper” the UK’s march to freedom, a leading scientist has warned, despite the lockdown and vaccine programme leading to cases falling to a seven-month low.
Covid-19 infections across the UK dropped to the lowest level since the autumn, according to the latest figures.
But a professor of immunology has called for Britain to be on its guard against a third wave after a possible vaccine-busting mutation was recorded in England and Scotland.
Public Health England (PHE) reported that 77 cases of the B.1.617 variant, which was first discovered in India, have been found.
Imperial College’s Danny Altmann said that as a result, those arriving into the country from India should be subject to a hotel quarantine if the UK is to shut out variants that could set back the Prime Minister’s lockdown easing plans.
But despite the warnings, Downing Street has insisted Boris Johnson’s trip to India later this month – his first major international visit since securing a Brexit trade deal with Brussels – will go ahead.
It comes as the group advising ministers on vaccine deployment recommended that pregnant women should be offered a Covid-19 jab at the same time as the rest of the population.