Covid: Hunt continues for Brazil variant case in England

Brunilde Fioravanti
Marzo 3, 2021

Experts are concerned, she said, because the Brazil strain "shares some important mutations with the variants first identified in South Africa", another "variant of concern" which spreads much more quickly than the original Covid-19 virus.

Two of the three English cases were confirmed in South Gloucestershire but the third could be anywhere in the nation.

Prof Sharon Peacock, the director of COG-UK, which is monitoring emergence of new variants for the Government, said: "The key thing about vaccination is that the majority of disease in the UK is caused by the UK variant, which we can vaccinate against using the vaccines that we have available to us at the moment".

He said: "All the evidence is that the five cases that we know about followed those quarantine rules and that, I hope, is very reassuring to people".

Two cases in England are from one household in South Gloucestershire, which has a travel history with Brazil.

Anyone who took a test on February 12nd or 13th and has not received their results is being asked to come forward immediately.

Other passengers, who were on the same flight to Aberdeen, are now being traced. Direct flights from Brazil to the United Kingdom have been halted, but the newly identified cases have been linked to people who came to the United Kingdom from Brazil through other European cities in early February.

Some 5,500 new cases have been reported in the UK.

Officials are searching for passengers who were on the Swiss Air flight LX318 from Sao Paulo to Heathrow, via Zurich, which landed on 10 February.

"This new variant demonstrates how serious Covid is and reinforces the need to minimise the spread of the virus".

Stay alert to stop coronavirus spreading - here is the latest government guidance. Only call NHS 111 if you can not cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days.

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