Nu Variant: Sajid Javid Says U.K. “Must Move Quickly, and At The Earliest Possible Moment”

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has told the Commons that the new Nu variant identified this week in Botswana is of “huge international concern” and that: “One of the lessons of this pandemic has been that we must move quickly, and at the earliest possible moment.”

Although he said we don’t know “definitively” whether the exponential growth in reported infections in South Africa is directly associated with the new variant, he added that analysis suggests there may be many cases that haven’t been detected so far.

“We’re heading into winter and our booster programme is still ongoing, so we must act with caution,” he said.

The FTSE 100 crashed 3.4% on the news of the new variant’s emergence, revealing investors’ worries about the impact a new, potentially vaccine-evading variant might have on economic activity.

Ross Clark summarises the reasons for the concern: