China reports the first case of a new variant of coronavirus: CDC report

China has detected its first imported case of the new variant of coronavirus that is spreading rapidly in the UK, according to a publication of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Countries around the world have cut off travel to the UK to stop the spread of the new variant, which scientists say is 40-70% more transmissible than the original virus.

The variant was detected in a 23-year-old woman returning to China from the United Kingdom, which was tested in Shanghai on December 14, according to the latest edition of China CDC Weekly published on Wednesday.

The case “represents a major potential threat to the prevention and control of COVID-19 in China,” the publication said.

The researchers performed gene sequencing on the patient’s sample on December 24 and found that the strain is a variant known as “VUI202012 / 01”, the publication states.

The variant includes a genetic mutation that, in theory, could lead to the easier spread of COVID-19 among humans.

China will suspend direct flights to and from the UK indefinitely, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said last week.

The patient from Shanghai was transferred to a medical institution designated for quarantine and investigations began into her close contacts, according to the publication.

This story was published from an agency stream with no text changes. Only the title has been changed.

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