London: Urging rapid introduction of the vaccine to prevent deaths, scientists warned in a study that the mutated coronavirus strain is 56% more contagious than the original.
The variant that emerged in south-east England in November is spreading rapidly and is likely to increase hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 in 2021, says the study published by the Center for Mathematical Modeling of Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene. and Tropical Medicine. , according to the news agency AFP.
Focusing on England’s southeast, east and London, the researchers said it remains uncertain whether the mutated strain was more or less deadly than its predecessors.
“However, the increase in transmissibility is likely to lead to a large increase in incidence, with hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19 expected to reach higher levels in 2021 than those seen in 2020, even if restrictions are maintained. at multiple regional levels implemented before December 19, “The researchers were quoted as saying by AFP.
According to the authors, the national blockade imposed in England in November is unlikely to prevent an increase in infections “unless primary, secondary and university schools are also closed.”
“Vaccine rollouts may need to be significantly accelerated to have an appreciable impact in suppressing the resulting disease burden,” the researchers said.