Boris Johnson
Boris JohnsonReuters

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday that the new strain of coronavirus identified in Britain could be not only more transmissible but also more deadly.

"It also now appears that there is some evidence that the new variant... may be associated with a higher degree of mortality," he said at a Downing Street news conference, according to AFP.

Chief government scientist Patrick Vallance said the new variant could be around 30 percent more deadly, though he stressed that only sparse data was available.

The British variant of COVID-19 was first discovered last month, leading Johnson to announce a stay at home order for part of the country to slow the new variant.

A new study released this week suggested that the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech is likely effective against the new rapid-spreading variant.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)