New York state is running 1,000 genome tests per week to look for new Covid variants

Scientists work in a lab testing COVID-19 samples at New York City’s well being division, throughout the outbreak of the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) in New York, April 23, 2020.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

New York state is running about 1,000 genome tests per week to look for new, extra infectious Covid variants, the state’s well being commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, stated at a press convention Friday.

“The new strains are frightening: the U.K. strain, Brazil strain, now the South Africa strain,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo stated on the briefing. “The U.K. strain is here.”

Zucker stated the state has run about 6,000 genome tests thus far and has discovered solely the pressure that originated within the U.Okay. New York officers have recognized 25 of these instances thus far, together with two new instances in Westchester County and one new case in Kings County, Cuomo stated. There have been no deaths amongst these instances, in accordance to Zucker.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson instructed reporters Friday there is “some evidence” the mutated pressure may be extra lethal than the unique one, which originated in Wuhan, China.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has beforehand stated there is no proof that any of the new variants are extra deadly or trigger extra extreme sickness.

When requested concerning the potential of a better diploma of mortality related to the U.Okay. pressure, Zucker stated he is involved with the U.Okay. science advisor and that the proof is nonetheless preliminary.

“The fact that it’s more transmissible means that there are going to be more cases. If there are more cases, there’s more hospitalizations, and with more hospitalizations obviously there’s a risk of more deaths,” Zucker stated.

Cuomo stated on the briefing he hopes President Joe Biden’s new administration will ramp up vaccine manufacturing and permit for elevated vaccine distribution. New York has administered at the very least one dose of the vaccine to greater than 975,000 individuals as of Thursday, in accordance to the state’s vaccine tracker.

“The U.K. strain is spreading. We still are only at 60%-70% vaccination rate of our hospital workers. This is a problem,” Cuomo stated.

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