British government scientists are increasingly finding the coronavirus variant first detected in Britain to be deadlier than the original virus, a devastating trend that highlights the serious risks of this new phase of the pandemic.
The scientists said last month that there was a “realistic possibility” that the variant was more lethal. Now, they say in a new document that it is “likely” that the variant is connected to an increased risk of hospitalization and death.
The British government did not publicly announce the updated findings, which are based on roughly twice as many studies as their earlier assessment and include more deaths from cases of COVID-19 caused by the new variant, known as B.1.1.7. It posted the document on a government website Friday and said that it had been considered at a meeting of government advisers the day before.