COVID-19: Scientists cast doubt over claim UK variant is more deadly

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Scientists have cast doubt over claims the COVID-19 variant first identified in southeast England is more deadly than the original virus.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the British public on Friday there was “some evidence that the new variant may be associated with a higher degree of mortality”.

However, Dr Mike Tildesley, who advises the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), said the research is in its “early stages” and the issue should be approached “with an element of caution”.

Dr Tildesley also suggested the government may have decided to present the early data to encourage people to follow England’s coronavirus restrictions.

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