COVID-19: New variant more resistant to vaccines to emerge, says Welsh Prime Minister as he criticizes removal from red list

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COVID-19: New variant more resistant to vaccines to emerge, says Welsh Prime Minister as he criticizes removal from red list


The Welsh Prime Minister criticized Westminster’s decision to remove all countries from the Red List because he said a new, more vaccine-resistant variant would emerge.

Marc Drakeford hit the government as it said it had to reimpose some COVID restrictions due to the increase in cases.

He said there are several reasons the cases are increasing, including that Wales had such a successful vaccination program and a low number of cases in early summer.

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Wales chief fears COVID variant

And he said SAGE, which advises the government on COVID-19[feminine[feminine, was “almost certain” that a new variant would emerge in the UK.

“There is at least a possibility that this variant will prove to be more resistant to vaccination than the one we have now,” he said.

Mr Drakeford on Thursday announced measures that included self-isolation for fully vaccinated household contacts of positive cases, twice-weekly lateral flow tests for students and encouragement to work from home.

People will also be asked to wear face coverings in indoor public places and the use of COVID passes will be extended to theaters, cinemas and concert halls from November 15.

Cases have increased in Wales to the highest rates since the start of the pandemic and Mr Drakeford said he was particularly concerned to see an increase in the number of people over 60 infected with the coronavirus .

He told Sky News’s Vanessa Baffoe: “I think there is some explanation as to why we are in the position we are in today.

New COVID restrictions in Wales

  • Fully vaccinated people over the age of four living in a household with someone who tests positive or has symptoms should self-isolate until a negative PCR test
  • People not fully vaccinated should self-isolate for 10 days if close contact or a member of the household is positive
  • School principals will receive additional support to implement early action if case rates increase locally
  • High school students and staff are required to take lateral flow tests twice a week
  • COVID pass extended to theaters, cinemas and concert halls from November 15
  • If the cases do not decrease in the coming weeks, the COVID Pass will be extended to the hotel industry.

“Wales has had a very successful vaccination program, we may see the diminishing impact of that initial vaccination earlier here due to our initial success.

‘This is also the case earlier in the summer, for weeks and weeks Wales had the UK’s lowest coronavirus level and there may just be a bigger one reservoir of people here in Wales waiting to be infected with the Delta variant is driving the numbers we see today.

“What is certainly true is that numbers at this level are causing damage to the community, driving more people to the hospital and we need to make a concerted effort over the next three or four weeks to bring these down. figures. “

As Wales reinstates restrictions, it removes the seven countries remaining on the travel red list, in line with England.

Mr Drakeford said he understood it might sound incongruous but didn’t have much choice due to how overseas travel to and from the UK works.

“When they change the rules in England, in a practical sense, it is impossible for us to do anything different in Wales because almost everyone from Wales who travels overseas or comes back to this country from overseas go through English ports and airports and then on to Wales, ”he told Sky News.

He added that he wanted the UK government to “take a more cautious approach” to international travel.

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And he said he had been urging Westminster “for several weeks” to switch to Plan B – mandatory face coverings in some settings, a work-from-home warrant and vaccine certificates in some scenarios.

‘It would certainly help us here in Wales to have just one communication saying that across England and Wales we all take this virus as seriously as we need to take it as it approaches. fall and winter, ”he added.

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