B.1.1.529 Covid variant ‘most worrying we’ve seen’, says top UK medical adviser squib

Dr Susan Hopkins said R value of variant first found in Gauteng, South Africa, is now 2

The chief medical adviser to the UK Health and Security Agency has warned that a newly identified Covid-19 variant in southern Africa is the “most worrying we’ve seen”, with transmission levels not recorded since the beginning of the pandemic.

Dr Susan Hopkins said the R value, or effective reproduction number, of the B.1.1.529 variant in Gauteng in South Africa, where it was first found, is now 2. For an R of anything above 1, an epidemic will grow exponentially.

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