British health officials said on Sunday that six cases of the new coronavirus that were identified in the city of Manaus, in the Amazon region, had been detected for the first time in the United Kingdom (28).
Three cases have been identified in England and another three in Scotland.
The risks to the wider community are low, but as a precaution, authorities investigating English cases are moving quickly to spread mass testing and increase the sequence of positive coronavirus samples from the area, Public Health England (PHE) said. Agency from the UK Department of Health.
Two of the three cases found in England were from a family in the South Gloucestershire area with a history of traveling to Brazil. PHE said there is a third case that is currently unrelated.
The Scottish cases were not related to those in England.
The P.1 variant discovered in Manaus shares some mutations with a strain first identified in South Africa and is likely to respond less to current vaccines, the agency said, but more work is needed to understand this.
Susan Hopkins, PHE’s Director of Strategic Response for covid-19, said the UK’s advanced gene sequencing capabilities explain why the country identifies more variants and mutations than many others.
At the end of last year, the United Kingdom discovered a more transmissible type of Coronavirus, which is believed to have originated near London and has led to a sharp increase in cases in the country and in other countries.
Susan said: “The important thing to remember is that Covid-19, regardless of the variable, spreads the same way. This means that measures to prevent its spread do not change.”
PHE and the official testing and tracking system were accompanying all passengers on board the Swiss Air flight LX318 from Sao Paulo to London via Zurich, which landed at London Heathrow Airport on February 10, to test them, as well as their relatives.