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Thursday, 6 May 2021

77 cases in the UK of a new Covid variant first detected in India

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Public Health England (PHE) releases weekly updates on the number of confirmed new cases of variants of concern and variants under investigation identified in the UK.

The dominant variant continues to be VOC-20DEC-01 (B.1.1.7) and PHE will continue to monitor all variants closely. The best way to stop the spread of the virus is to remember: hands, face, space and follow the restrictions in place.

New Variant Under Investigation (VUI) designated

A new variant has been designated a Variant Under Investigation (VUI) by PHE.

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REHAB BEAUTY

The variant, first detected in India, includes a number of mutations including E484Q, L452R, and P681R.

PHE has identified 77 cases of this variant in the UK and all appropriate public health interventions will be undertaken, including enhanced contact tracing.

This variant has been designated VUI-21APR-01. PHE and international partners continue to monitor the situation closely.

Previous

Tuesday 16 March

Two additional cases of Variant of Concern VOC-21JAN-02 (P.1) found in England

Two more cases of the Variant of Concern VOC-21JAN-02 (P.1) have been identified in England – one in the West Midlands and one in Haringey, London.

Both cases are linked with international travel to Brazil. The case in the West Midlands was identified following their arrival at Birmingham Airport, where they were tested and quarantined as part of the managed hotel quarantine process.

The London case was picked up through surge testing. Surge testing will be stepped up in the affected area, and contact tracing teams have undertaken a comprehensive investigation to identify any further contacts.

The latest cases bring the total number of P.1 variant cases in the UK to 12 – 9 in England and 3 in Scotland, all of which have links to travel or to a previously confirmed case that has travelled to Brazil.

New Variant Under Investigation (VUI) designated

A new variant has been designated a Variant Under Investigation (VUI) by Public Health England (PHE).

On 9 March, PHE noted a report of 33 cases of a new variant reported by the Philippines. The variant includes a number of notable mutations including E484K and N501Y, which are found in several other variants of concern.

PHE has identified 2 cases of this variant in England. One of the cases is linked with international travel and the other is currently under investigation. All appropriate public health interventions are being undertaken.

This variant has been designated VUI-21MAR-02 (P.3). PHE and international partners continue to monitor the situation closely.

Saturday 13 March

Four more cases of Variant of Concern VOC-202101/02 (P.1) found in England

Four more cases of the Variant of Concern VOC-202101/02, also known as P.1, have been identified in England – 3 in South Gloucestershire and one in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

The cases in South Gloucestershire are all close or household contacts of the 2 existing P.1 cases in the area. They were offered testing in response to the initial cases.

Specialist contact tracing teams have undertaken a comprehensive investigation to identify any further contacts and additional testing has been in place since the initial cases were identified.

The individual in Bradford tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) in late February after travelling back from Brazil via Paris on 14 February 2021. Subsequent genomic sequencing confirmed the case as the P.1 variant. Contact tracing teams have followed up close contacts of the individual and advised them to isolate and get a test.

The latest cases bring the total number of P.1 variant cases in the UK to 10 – 7 in England and 3 in Scotland, all of which have links to travel or to a previously confirmed case that has travelled to Brazil.

New Variant Under Investigation (VUI) designated in UK

A new variant identified in the UK has been designated a Variant Under Investigation (VUI) by PHE.

VUI-202103/01 (lineage B.1.324.1) was designated a VUI on 4 March after 2 cases were found in the South East of England in individuals who had recently travelled to Antigua. Despite the travel history of these cases there is no scientific evidence to determine where this variant first emerged.

The variant contains the spike mutations E484K and N501Y, both usually associated with variants of concern (VOC), however it does not feature specific deletions that would lead to a designation as a VOC.

Contact tracing teams have completed thorough investigations to identify and follow up any close contacts and no additional cases have been found to date.