LONDON (Reuters) – Britain believes it is getting on top of outbreaks of a South African variant of the coronavirus and is also seeing signs that hospitalisations are falling quickly following the vaccine roll-out, the health secretary said on Sunday.
Hancock told the BBC there had been around 300 cases of the South African variant, which may undermine the vaccination programme, but that they were from over a month ago.
“The latest data shows that there’s around a dozen new ones, so a much, much smaller number, and each time we find a new one we absolutely clamp down on it,” he said.
Asked what impact the vaccine roll-out was having so far, he said there were signs that it was reducing transmission and that the numbers in hospital were falling much more sharply than they did in the first wave of the pandemic.
Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Mark Heinrich