Coronavirus, England, Health Policy, Layla Moran, Liberal Democrats, Health, House Of Commons

Coronavirus, England

UK government opening floodgates to Covid variants, MPs warn

UK government opening floodgates to Covid variants, MPs warn

7/23/2021 7:47:00 PM

UK government opening floodgates to Covid variants, MPs warn

Cross-party group says proportion of positive tests analysed for variants among red list arrivals has plunged

even fully vaccinated people entering England from France would continue to need to quarantine for 10 days.The analysis for the APPG also revealed that sequencing of positive test results from people entering the UK from amber list countries had fallen in the same period. In the three weeks to 17 March there were an estimated 1,641 to 1,767 positive tests from people entering the UK from amber list countries, between 57% and 71% of which were sequenced. But while numbers were between 1,388 and 1,536 in the three weeks to 30 June, only an estimated 3% to 20% were sequenced.

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“It seems that vital lessons have still not been learned from the failure to prevent the Delta variant taking root in the UK,” said Moran. “The government must urgently fix this scandal and step up the sequencing of test results, before more dangerous Covid variants slip through the net.”

Prof Francois Balloux, the director of the UCL Genetics Institute, said sequencing of positive tests, and in particular those from incoming travellers, was an important tool to monitor the evolution of the viral population and flag possible new variants of concern.

“As such, I must admit I’m slightly surprised – assuming those percentages are correct – by the relatively low proportion of positive cases in incoming travellers that got sequenced in June,” he said.However, Prof Ravi Gupta of the University of Cambridge, a co-opted member of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag) that advises the government, suggested that in the UK’s current situation, the decline was not a cause for worry.

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