‘Highly concerning’ second new Covid-19 variant from South Africa detected in UK confirms Matt Hancock.
The UK is already moving to widen lockdowns in connection with the emergence of a new strain of Covid-19 identified in southeast England last week. That strain is said to be more transmissible, but also no more severe than the original virus.
UK health authorities identified a second mutated strain of the coronavirus on Wednesday, with Secretary of Health Matt Hancock saying it appears to have arrived in the country from South Africa.
“We’ve detected two cases of another new variant of coronavirus here in the UK,” Hancock, speaking to reporters. “This new variant is highly concerning because it is yet more transmissible and it appears to have mutated further than the [early reported] new variant that’s been discovered in the UK,” the minister said.
Hancock said the new cases have been quarantined, as have persons who have come into close contact with them. He instructed people who have recently traveled to South Africa to quarantine.