The variant is new for the United Kingdom, but was first identified in Colombia in January.
Public Health England has recently identified a new strain of coronavirus which is now being investigated after 16 confirmed cases have been found in the United Kingdom. This has been designated as a variant under investigation on Wednesday, The Independent has reported. The variant is known as B.1.621. The authorities have clarified that not much has been known about this variant and there is no evidence to suggest that it might make vaccines less effective or lead to more severe illness so that the new strain does not spread fears among people.
The B.1.621 variant of SARS-CoV-2 might be a new variant in the United Kingdom, but this is not new in the world, In January, the variant was first identified in Colombia.
“Most of the cases have been linked to overseas travel and there is currently no evidence of community transmission in the UK,” the Independent reported.
The Covid-19 situation in the United Kingdom worsened in the last few weeks which has been attributed to the Delta variant of the virus. Despite the surge in the cases, Covid-19 restrictions were lifted in the UK this week. On Saturday, Britain reported 31,794 coronavirus cases.
Reports said the R rate of coronavirus in the UK is around 1.2 and 1.4 which means one infected person can spread the infection to more than one person. The infection rate in private households of England has also been the highest since January.
What is the variant under investigation?
Before classifying any variant as of interest (variants of interest) and concern (variants of concern), variants are first investigated. As of now, this new strain is being considered as a signal and its risk is being assessed.