A year after the first case of the global COVID-19 pandemic was reported in Wuhan (hubei province) of China, a mutated strain of the virus, called VUI 202012 is found in the United Kingdom. As a precautionary measure, several countries have temporarily halted the travels from the UK.
COVID-19 has so far infected nearly 77 million people across the globe, killing more than 1.69 million. As previously reported, since the origin of SARS-CoV-2, researchers have found seven strains of the virus. However, the latest mutation has already infected thousands in the UK, making it a cause of worry.
US Considering Travel Ban on UK
The new strain, termed VUI -202012/01 (Variant Under Investigation, the year 2020, month 12, variant 01) has already spread to over 60 locations in England and the new cases are rising faster as per Matt Hancock, England's Health Secretary. Many parts of the UK are currently under strict lockdown due to rising cases of COVID-19.
The new mutation is believed to be 70 per cent more transmissible than the original strain. Fearing a massive spread, several countries have announced travel bans, in wake of the approaching holiday season.
Speaking to CNN, US assistant health secretary Brett Giroir said that all options are under consideration. Hinting at the possibility of the US imposing a travel ban from the UK, Giroir said, "I think everything is possible. We just need to put everything on the table, have an open scientific discussion and make the best recommendation".
According to Independent, entire London and the southeast of England was placed into a "Tier 4" lockdown at midnight on Saturday as new cases skyrocketed. Furthermore, to contain the spread, the authorities have also cut down on the Christmas Day celebrations in the area. The outlet said that a spokesperson for UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, statedon Monday the Tier 4 rules could be in place until Easter.
Netizens Express Their Feelings for COVID-20 Through Memes
The discovery of the much stronger mutated strain doesn't seem to dampen the spirits of the netizens as they rolled out memes on social media sites to honor COVID-20 or COVID 2.0, as many are terming it.
"They've infected themselves on a colossal scale, mutated a killer virus, got banned from the world, botched trade, lost a Prince, disunified its fading kingdom and are now running out of lettuce. Overall the British project is going rather well... #BrexitIsland #COVID20 #Britain," tweeted a user.
Here is a look at the memes for COVID-20: