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Scientist says that new Kent variant is “going to sweep the world, in all probability”

A new covid variant that was first discovered in Kent could become the world’s dominant strain according to scientists. 

Professor Sharon Peacock, Director of the UK’s genetic surveillance programme said the mutant variant is “going to sweep the world, in all probability”.

It is thought that this newly discovered strain of covid is to be up to 70% more transmissible than the version prior that was dominant.

The variant made its way to London and parts of southern England and is known as B117, it now been detected across Britain and in other countries around the world. 

Prof Peacock also said transmissibility was likely to cause scientists difficulties for years to come.

She told the BBC’s Newscast podcast: “Once we get on top of it or it mutates itself out of being virulent, causing disease, then we can stop worrying about it.

“But I think, looking in the future, we’re going to be doing this for years. We’re still going to be doing this 10 years down the line, in my view.”

Public Health England officials have also said they have “a high degree of confidence that the vaccines will work against variants”.

The news comes as Health Secretary Matt Hancock said we need a “more integrated, more innovative and responsive” NHS. He wants to reform the NHS in England.

He said: “The practical implication is that these changes will allow the NHS to work more closely together with the different parts of the NHS and, crucially, with social care and public health colleagues.

“At the moment there are rules set out in law that stop some of that working together. We’ve seen that that’s been a problem.”

He told BBC Breakfast: “At the heart of these reforms is the idea you take the budget for the NHS in a local area, and you get an integrated team that has social care, the NHS, the GPs and the hospitals, and they commission and they do the work to spend the money as effectively as possible.”