Four new cases of Brazil Covid variant found in England

Public Health England said in a statement: “Contact tracing teams have followed up close contacts of the individual and advised them to isolate and get a test.”

Four new cases of the Manaus coronavirus variant first detected in Brazil have been identified in England.

Three of the new cases have been found in South Gloucestershire and are said to be close or household contacts with the two cases previously discovered in the area.

The other case was found in Bradford, West Yorkshire, after the person tested positive late last month having travelled back from Brazil via Paris on 14 February.

The new cases bring the total number of cases of the variant, named P1, detected in the UK to 10 –seven in England and three in Scotland.

A study into people infected with P1 in the Amazonas city of Manaus has suggested the variant is estimated to be roughly twice as infectious as other mutated forms of the virus and can partially evade immunity elicited by previous infection.

Emergency surge testing was rolled out in parts of South Gloucestershire at the beginning of the month after the first cases of the variant “of concern” were detected in the UK.

Variants of Covid-19 may be identified as either “under investigation” or “of concern”.

Last week, public health officials revealed scientists had identified 16 cases of a new coronavirus variant in the UK.

The new variant, which is understood to have originated in the UK, was designated as “under investigation”.

A further 159 people who tested positive for coronavirus died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 84,935, NHS England said on Thursday.

Patients were aged between 35 and 99 and all except 11 had known underlying health conditions.

The deaths were between 11 December and 10 March, with the majority being on or after 5 March.

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