UK identifies another Coronavirus variant, tagged as cause of surging cases in South Africa

A new variant of the Coronavirus has been detected in Britain, on Wednesday, in contacts of cases who have travelled from South Africa, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.

South Africa’s health department informed last week about finding a new genetic mutation of the virus which might be responsible for a recent surge in infections there.


In a media briefing, Hancock said, “Thanks to the impressive genomic capability of the South Africans, we’ve detected two cases of another new variant of coronavirus here in the UK. Both are contacts of cases who have travelled from South Africa over the past few weeks.”

Britain is already battling to curb the spread of a mutated strain of the virus which is up to 70 per cent more transmissible, and the new variant appeared to have mutated further and was more infectious, added the health minister.

He also said close contacts of those with the new variant were being quarantined and all those who had been in South Africa in the last fortnight also needed to quarantine.