Georgia confirms first case of UK-linked coronavirus strain

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Representative image

Tbilisi [Georgia], January 4 (ANI/Sputnik): Georgia has confirmed the first case of the new variant of COVID-19 that was identified in the United Kingdom, the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health of the Georgian Health Ministry said on Monday.

"Lugar laboratory of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health has completed a genetic analysis of the detected samples to determine the presence of a new 'British' coronavirus strain in the country. In total, the study included three suspicious cases. In two cases, the existence of this strain was not established. In the third sample taken in December, a mutation similar to the gene of the new 'British' strain was confirmed," the statement said.

According to the ministry, the patient is a man over 50 and his condition is satisfactory. He is in isolation. All the persons, who were in contact with him, have been identified. The man arrived in Georgia from another country and has already returned back there. He has not visited the UK.

In December, the UK announced that the new coronavirus strain was detected in the country, adding that the new variant can be up to 70 percent more transmissible than other SARS-CoV-2 variants. After the news, many countries suspended travel to and from the UK. There is no evidence that the new strain is more pathogenic. (ANI/Sputnik)