London said it was facing a “major accident” on Friday as its hospitals run the risk of being unable to cope with a highly contagious strain of the Coronavirus spreading across the United Kingdom.
London Mayor Siddiq Khan, who is from the opposition Labor Party, said, “Hospital beds in the capital will be filled with patients over the next few weeks because the spread of the virus has become out of control … We announce that the city is facing a major accident because the threat this virus poses to our city has become a crisis.”.
London, which rivals Paris for the center of the richest city in Europe, has a population of over nine million.
The term “major accident” usually refers to serious attacks or accidents, especially those likely to involve “serious harm, harm, disruption, or danger to human lives, basic services, the environment, or national security.”
The last time a “major accident” was announced in London was due to the Grenville Tower fire in a high-rise apartment complex in 2017, which killed 72 people.
In the same context, Khan said that there are parts of London where one in 20 residents is infected with the Coronavirus. The pressure on the ambulance service, which deals with up to 9,000 reports a day, means that firefighters will be recruited to drive and that the recruitment of police will follow.
The Office for National Statistics estimates that 1.1 million people in England are infected with the virus, that is, one in every 50 until January 2.
For his part, British Transport Minister Grant Shaps said today, Friday, that there are concerns that the Covid-19 vaccines may not work properly against the highly contagious strain of the Coronavirus discovered in South Africa.
The leading companies producing Covid-19 vaccines in the world are rushing to find out whether their vaccines are effective in facing new mutations of the virus that were detected in South Africa and Britain.
According to a laboratory study conducted by the American company Pfizer, the vaccine is developed with the company Biontech to prevent Covid-19 disease appears to be effective in the face of a major mutation in the new rapidly spreading strains of the Coronavirus that were detected in Britain and South Africa.
“The strain detected in South Africa worries experts because of the possibility that the vaccine will not achieve the same result or work in exactly the same way,” Shabs told LBC radio.
The study, which was conducted by Pfizer and scientists from the University of Texas Medical Branch and has not yet been reviewed, indicates that the vaccine is effective in neutralizing the virus that carries the mutation known as (EN501.Y) in the protein responsible for forming thorns in the virus.
In turn, Phil Dormitzer, a senior virus vaccine scientist at Pfizer, said that the mutation may be responsible for increasing the ability to spread and infection, in addition to concerns that it may make the virus able to escape from the mechanism of neutralization with the antibodies raised by the vaccine.