Johnson’s report on mutation mortality surprises experts

Boris Johnson said Friday that the British corona variant could be more deadly. It faces criticism from experts.

It is too early to say whether the British, more contagious coronavariant is also more deadly.

It points out British health experts on Saturday after Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday that the mutation could be more deadly than the original variant.

– There is some evidence, but it is still very early. It’s a small number of cases and it’s too early to say if that’s really the case, says Yvonne Doyle, medical director of the UK Health Authority, to the BBC.

She is backed by Mike Tildesley, a member of a British expert group. He also believes it is too early to draw conclusions about mortality.

He tells the BBC he was “surprised” by Boris Johnson’s announcement.

– I would have waited a week or two more and assessed it a bit more before we draw such a strong conclusion like this, says Mike Tildesley.

The death toll per 1,000 patients is slightly higher in the UK variant than the original – 13 instead of 10 – according to Tildesley. But he points out that those numbers are based on “a relatively small amount of data”.

Although Boris Johnson had reservations when he spoke about the higher mortality rate, the statement has attracted attention both in the UK and in the world. It has spread to at least 60 countries in the world.

“It now also turns out that there is some evidence that the new variant may be associated with a higher mortality rate,” said Boris Johnson.

Chief researcher for the government Patrick Vallance stated on the same occasion that the new variant can be about 30 percent more lethal than other variants.

However, like the other experts, he stressed that the data for the British mutation remains uncertain. Therefore, he will not draw any final conclusions.

The Norwegian Board of Health, the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH), has also responded to Boris Johnson’s statement. It believes more studies are needed to determine if the mutation is more lethal than other variants.

The Norwegian National Board of Health also points out that there is not enough figures to draw definitive conclusions.

It has been established that the British variant is more contagious than the original. But there is still no clear picture of whether it is more deadly. In the past, the assessment has been that it is no longer fatal.

/ ritzau / dpa

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