Madrid, December 26: Spain confirmed the detection of new COVID-19 variant linked to the UK, as four persons who recently returned from Britain were found infected with the mutated strain of coronavirus. The confirmation was issued the regional government of Madrid on Saturday, as it warned the residents to exercise maximum caution during the holiday period.
The four persons, found infected with the new virus variant, had contracted the same from the UK, confirmed Madrid's deputy health chief Antonio Zapatero. The authorities are expected to trace the persons with whom they came in contact after returning. Japan Confirms Detection of COVID-19's New 'UK Variant B117', Case Count Hits Record-High.
The top official confirmed that the patients were not severely ill, and showed moderate symptoms akin to normal COVID-19 cases. What has caused concern the authorities, however, is the high transmissibility rate of the mutated virus.
"The patients are not seriously ill, we know that this strain is more transmissible, but it does not cause more serious illness," he said.
Zapatero further claimed that there could be three more cases of the new coronavirus variant, as three other persons who arrived recently from abroad are being screened and their test results are awaited.
In the UK, where two new variants of coronavirus has been detected, a record-high surge in infections have been reported. The hospitals are running at near-full capacity, and a strict "stay at home" order has been issued for London and Southeast England as the transmission rate has shot up by nearly 70 percent.