Brazilian COVID-19 Variant Detected in the United Kingdom

Officials in the United Kingdom on Feb. 28 have reported six cases of the more contagious COVID-19 variant first identified in Brazil.

Public Health England (PHE) said that three cases of the “Variant of Concern” have been identified in England and further three cases have been identified in Scotland.

Officials are searching for one of the England cases who did not provide their identity and contact details in the registration card that came with the COVID-19 testing kit.

PHE is now asking anyone who took the test on Feb. 12 or 13 and has not received their result or has an uncompleted test registration card to immediately contact officials and make themselves known.

The England case with the unknown identity is currently identified as unlinked with the other two cases with whom one had traveled to Brazil and had been isolating at home since returning to the U.K.

The two cases belong to the same household in South Gloucestershire and their contacts have been identified and retested.

Meanwhile, the three Scotland cases are identified as not connected to the England cases.

Three residents in northeast Scotland tested positive for the variant while under self-isolation after returning from Brazil via Paris and London.

“This new variant demonstrates how serious coronavirus is and reinforces the need to minimize the spread of the virus,” Scottish Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said.

“It is now also illegal for anyone to travel to or from Scotland unless it is for an essential reason,” Freeman also said.

“The important thing to remember is that COVID-19, no matter what variant it is, spreads in the same way. That means the measures to stop it spreading do not change,” PHE COVID-19 Strategic Response Director Susan Hopkins said.

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