The United Kingdom has detected a further 55 cases of the COVID-19 “double mutation” variant first identified in India, according to the latest data from Public Health England (PHE).
The additional cases of the B.1.617 variant discovered in the UK in the week to April 21 brings the total to 132, according to the latest data from PHE.
Of these cases, 119 were detected in England, five in Scotland, and eight in Wales,
Scientists are particularly worried about the variant because it contains two significant mutations in the spike protein, which could mean that it can infect the body more easily. It could also mean that existing vaccines are less effective against it.
The figures come hours before the travel ban from India to England comes into effect, placing India onto the UK’s COVID-19 “red list” for travel.
The UK has also reported 2,729 new COVID-19 cases on April 22, bringing the total number to over 4.3 million, according to government data.
Meanwhile, India recorded 314,835 cases in a single day on April 22, setting the highest daily tally in the world. It brings its total number of cases to 15.9 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
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