Three new variants of COVID-19 have been detected in recent weeks, leading to increased vigilance around the world, as officials say a variant found in the UK could be up to 70 percent more transmissible.
However, none of the options so far have been shown to be more fatal or more likely to evade vaccines or treatments.
A new variant was first reported in the United Kingdom on 14 December. Named VUI-202012/01 (the first variant under investigation in December 2020), it is believed to have first appeared in mid-September.
Named by some experts as the B117 line, it has quickly become the dominant strain in COVID-19 cases in many parts of the UK.
Last week, South Africa reported another new strain that seems to have moved more than the UK version.
Known as 501.V2, this variant is dominant among the new confirmed infections in South Africa.
On December 24, the head of Africa’s disease control body said another strain of COVID-19, known as P681H, had been identified in Nigeria.
It is from a separate line from the other mutations, but does not seem to spread as fast as the other two new variants.
Below is a list of countries that have reported cases of new coronavirus strains so far.
On December 21, Australian health officials said two people traveling from the UK had arrived in the country with the new strain.
The World Health Organization reported that nine cases of a new variant were detected in Denmark.
Health officials in the Canadian province of Ontario on December 26 reported the country’s first two cases of COVID-19 first discovered in the UK.
The cases are a couple from Durham, a region east of Toronto, with no known travel history, exposure or high-risk contacts, the province said. I’m in self-isolation.
On December 25, France detected the first case of a new variant in a French national who returned from the British capital on December 19.
He had no symptoms and was quarantined in his home in downtown Tours.
On December 23, Italy registered the second case of a new strain of the new coronavirus near the central city of Ancona, but the patient did not have direct contact with Great Britain, where the variant first appeared.
Laboratory director Stefano Menzo told the Italian news agency ANSA that the strain was not detected for the first time in the UK.
The country has already detected that new COVID-19 strain on December 20 in a person who recently arrived from the UK. The patient landed at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport and is now in quarantine.
On December 25, Japan reported the first five cases of the rapid spread to passengers arriving from the United Kingdom.
The country’s health minister said on December 27 that Jordan had detected the first two cases of the new variant of the coronavirus, which has spread rapidly in parts of the UK, to travelers who had recently arrived from the UK.
In Lebanon, the country’s interim health minister said on December 25 that a case of the new variant had been detected on a flight arriving from London.
Middle East Airlines Flight 202 arrived on December 21, Hamad Hassan said, urging all flight passengers and their families to take precautions.
On December 22, Dutch Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said the new variant identified in the UK was found in two cases in the Amsterdam area.
On December 24, the head of Africa’s disease control body said a new variant of the new coronavirus had appeared in Nigeria.
The variant was found in two samples of patients collected on August 3 and October 9 in the state of Osun in Nigeria, according to a research paper seen by the news agency The Associated Press.
Singapore confirmed on December 24 its first case of a new variant of coronavirus found in the UK.
Of the 31 COVID-19 patients who arrived between November 17 and December 17, one was confirmed to be carrying strain B117, while another 11 were found to be pre-infected and their confirmation results are pending, the ministry said. health in Singapore.
Spain reported the first four cases of the new variant on December 26. All four infections were related to the trip to the UK, said regional vice president of health Antonio Zapatero.
There are three other suspected cases of the coronavirus variant, but test results will only be available on Tuesday or Wednesday, Zapatero said.
South Africa reported last week a new strain of COVID-19 that appears to have moved more than the UK version. It has made its way to several countries, including the United Kingdom.
Known as 501.V2, this variant is prevalent among new confirmed infections in South Africa and appears to be more infectious than the original virus, according to health officials and scientists leading the country’s virus strategy.
South Korean officials reported on December 28 that the new variant was detected in a family flying in the country from London on December 22, according to the Korean Agency for Disease Control and Prevention (KDCA).
The three have been isolated since they gave positive results.
The new variant of the coronavirus circulating in the UK was detected in Sweden after a traveler from the UK fell ill on arrival and gave positive results for it, the Swedish Health Agency said on December 26.
Health Agency official Sara Byfors told a news conference that the unidentified passenger remained isolated after arriving in Sweden and that no other positive cases had been detected so far.
On December 28, Norway said that the variant circulating in the UK was detected in two people who arrived from the United Kingdom earlier in December.
On December 14, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said more than 1,000 cases of a new variant of coronavirus, predominantly in the south of England, had been found.
On December 23, Hancock said the country had found two cases of another new variant of coronavirus related to South Africa.
“Both are contacts of cases that have traveled from South Africa in recent weeks,” Hancock said in a media briefing.
On December 29, Indian health authorities said they had found six people who had returned from the UK in recent weeks and tested positive for the new coronavirus strain.
All six patients were kept in isolation, the Indian health ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. “Their close contacts have also been quarantined,” the statement said.
On December 29, Pakistan said it had detected three cases of the new strain of coronavirus from travelers returning from the UK.
Genotyping showed 95% of the new variant in the UK, said Meeran Yousuf, a spokesman for Sindh’s health department.
“These samples will go through another phase of genotyping,” she said, adding that tracking the contacts of these travelers is in the process and their contacts are also isolated.
Karachi (29.12.2020): samples of 3 repatriates from Great Britain show a 95% match with the new variant Corona Virus from Great Britain in the first phase of genotyping. # SănătateSindh pic.twitter.com/4UUTSMTOQa
– Department of Health and Welfare, Sindh (@SindhHealthDpt) December 29, 2020
On December 29, Chile said it had registered its first case with the British coronavirus, prompting health authorities to re-establish a mandatory quarantine period for all visitors entering the South American country abroad.
The Chilean Undersecretary for Health, Paula Daza, said that a Chilean woman who returned to her country of origin on December 22 gave positive results for the variant. He had traveled to London to visit his family.
On December 29, Switzerland documented five cases of the UK variant and two cases of South African mutation, a health ministry official said, adding that it anticipates more cases.
On December 30, the US state of Colorado registered what is said to be the first case of America with the infectious variant of coronavirus.
“Today we discovered the first case in Colorado of the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant, the same variant discovered in Great Britain”, wrote on Twitter the state governor Jared Polis.
Today we discovered the first case in Colorado of variant B.1.1.7 COVID-19, the same variant discovered in Great Britain.
The health and safety of Coloradans is our top priority and we will monitor this case very closely, as well as all COVID-19 indicators. pic.twitter.com/fjyq7QhzBi
– Governor Jared Polis (@GovofCO) December 29, 2020