China has confirmed its first case of a new variant of coronavirus recently discovered in the UK.
The new strain, which experts say may spread faster than the original variety, has resulted in UK travel restrictions in more than 50 countries – including China, where the coronavirus first appeared late last year.
The first patient in China with the new variant is a 23-year-old woman from Shanghai who traveled from the UK on December 14, the Chinese Center for Disease Control said in a research report published on Wednesday.
She was admitted to the hospital on arrival because she had mild symptoms. Health professionals genetically sequenced their test samples on Dec. 24, “based on travel history from the UK and anomalies in nucleic acid test results,” said the Chinese CDC.
The patient was found to have a different strain than what it used to be in Shanghai or Wuhan, and further testing confirmed it was the variant known as B.1.1.7, which has been spreading in the UK since October.
Health officials have been conducting the contact tracing, the CDC statement added.
China suspended direct flights to and from the UK indefinitely on December 24th due to the new load.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the new variant was “up to 70 percent more transmissible than the original version of the disease”.
So far, however, there is no evidence that infection with the new variant is more likely to lead to a severe case of Covid-19 or increase the risk of death.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)