London, July 26: A new COVID-19 variant, currently known as B.1.621, has been detected in the United Kingdom. Reports inform that the variant might be new for the UK, but was first identified in Colombia in January 2020. The new strain of coronavirus has been detected in the UK by Public Health England after 16 confirmed cases were reported in the country. The new variant has been designated as a variant under investigation on Wednesday, July 21.
"A further variant, B.1.621, was designated a variant under investigation (VUI) on 21 July 2021, having previously been designated a signal in monitoring. The new designation was made on the basis of early analysis of its genetic profile as well as its apparent international expansion and subsequent importation to the UK", the release said. Click Here to Check Official Press Release by UK Govt.
B.1.621 variant in the UK: All you Need to Know
- A new COVID-19 variant, B.1.621, has been detected in the UK. The new strain of coronavirus was first identified in Colombia.
- In the UK, the B.1.621 variant has been designated a 'variant under investigation (VUI)' on 21 July 2021, having previously been designated a signal in monitoring.
- The new designation was made on the basis of early analysis of its genetic profile as well as its apparent international expansion and subsequent importation to the UK.
- Sixteen confirmed cases of B.1.621 have been identified across the country to date, and the majority have been linked to overseas travel. There is currently no evidence of community transmission in the UK.
- The public health body in the UK stated that there is currently no evidence that this variant causes more severe disease or renders the vaccines currently deployed any less effective. PHE is carrying out laboratory testing to better understand the impact of mutations on the behaviour of the virus.
- All appropriate public health interventions will be undertaken, including additional contact tracing and targeted testing. Where cases have been identified, additional follow-up of cases, testing of contacts and if required targeted case finding will be deployed to limit its spread.
Officials say that the new strain of COVID-19, known as B.1.621 variant, is new and hence not much has been known about this variant. Reports inform that so far, there is no evidence to suggest that the new variant might make vaccines less effective or lead to severe illness. The release states that most of the cases have been linked to overseas travel and there is currently no evidence of community transmission in the UK. It adds that there is currently no evidence that this variant causes more severe disease or renders the vaccines currently deployed any less effective. Delta and Delta Plus Variants FAQs: Is New Variant Deadlier? Know Everything About Coronavirus Mutation, Symptoms and Efficacy of COVID-19 Vaccines.
Globally, the overall COVID-19 caseload has topped 194 million, while deaths have surged to more than 4.15 million. According to Johns Hopkins University, the current global caseload and death toll stood at 194,092,488, 4,158,316 respectively. The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 34,443,064 and 610,891, respectively, according to the CSSE.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 26, 2021 12:29 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).