Japan, Spain, France and Canada have discovered small numbers of infections involving a new type of Coronavirus, potentially more transmissible, and most of it is associated with travel from the United Kingdom, where it was first discovered.
The rapid spread of the variant has resulted in London and southern England closed This week, he imposed a temporary French blockade of the English Channel and resulted in countries around the world blocking travelers from the UK because few countries have Level of genomic surveillance That Britain does, there is concern that the alternative may have been traveling the world undetected for weeks.
A recent study by British scientists It found no evidence that the variant was more lethal than the others, but it estimated that it was 56 percent contagious.
So far, the Japanese Ministry of Health said that the British type has been diagnosed in seven people in Japan. All of them have either traveled recently to the UK or have been in contact with someone who has.
The discovery in Japan prompted the country to close its borders to all new entry of non-resident foreigners. The Japanese broadcaster NHK said the ban will go into effect at midnight Monday and will continue until the end of January.
On Saturday, local authorities said the replacement had been found in the Spanish capital region. Regional health official Antonio Zapatero said four cases had been confirmed in Madrid, while three more were being treated as suspects. At least two of the cases involve people who recently visited Britain and then tested positive in Madrid, as well as some of their relatives.
The first case of a new rapidly spreading variant of the coronavirus was identified in France on Friday, according to the French Health Ministry. Officials said the patient was a French citizen living in Britain and traveled from London to Tours in central France on December 19, a day before the British government imposed the closure after the alternative appeared.
Health officials in Ontario, Canada, He said On Saturday, they confirmed two cases of the mutated virus in the province. The two cases involved a couple from Durham, about 90 miles northwest of Toronto. The provincial health department said the couple had no known travel history, were at risk or had high-risk contacts.
It is normal for viruses to mutate, and most coronavirus mutations have been shown to be minor. The British variant contains a constellation of 23 mutations, many of which may alter their transmissibility. Vaccine experts are confident that the available vaccines will be able to prevent the new variant, although this needs to be confirmed with laboratory trials now underway.
European Union member states are scheduled to begin vaccination against the virus on Sunday with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Hungary The vaccine started early on Saturday.
A few other related variants have also been identified, including one in South Africa and another In Nigeria. The United Kingdom said on Thursday it would ban travel from South Africa after Britain’s Health Minister Matt Hancock said Two people have been confirmed To infect the variant that appeared there.
Germany and Singapore both identified infections with the new variant. Denmark, which has wider genetic surveillance than many other countries, detected 33 such cases from November 14 to December 14, according to the Danish health authorities.
The US has not yet reported any cases of the UK variant. But Will require country The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that all airline passengers who arrive from Britain for a negative test for Corona virus within 72 hours of their departure. The rule will go into effect on Monday.
Hisaco UenoMike Ives contributed to the reports.
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