‘Significant’ proportion of Covid-19 cases in Sheffield are new ‘more infectious’ variant

A significant proportion of all Covid-19 cases diagnosed in Sheffield are of the new variant, which commonly referred to as the B117 variant, that appeared to be more transmissible.

Wednesday, 27th January 2021, 1:02 pm

The city's Public Health Director Greg Fell said there has been more than 60 percent of positive cases involving the new mutated virus and it is continuing to grow.

Expressing his concern in a video statement published on Tuesday (January 26), he said the new variant is going to be "relatively unstoppable" which has proven to be the case.

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Doctors wearing protective equipment are seen loading a patient in to an ambulance (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)

He also said according to a recent study by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), the infection with the B117 variant causes more deaths.

"The standard wild-type virus causes in the order of 11 deaths per 1000 people and the new variant causes in the order of 16 deaths per 1000 people.

"That seems like fairly trivial difference but aggregated up across a population, it does matter and obviously underneath the death, it will also be severe hospitalisation as a result of a new variant."

He added: "It is more transmissible, no doubts about that. The control measures are exactly the same as the wild-type virus like washing your hands, keeping a distance, wearing a face covering, limiting our social contacts, getting a test if you got symptoms - that hasn't changed.

"What has changed is the need for vigilance because it is more transmissible, we need to be a lot more vigilant and really obey the rules because not obeying the rules may have consequences for you and your loved ones or may have consequences for somebody else's loved ones."

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.