Coronavirus UK: Brazil variant already in UK, says leading scientist
BBC has reported that the Professor Wendy Barclay who is leading the G2P-UK national Virology Consortium, a newly launched project to study the emerging coronavirus mutations, said one Brazilian variant has been found in the UK.
Prof Barclay said: “There are two different types of Brazilian variants and one of them has been detected and one of them has not.”
She noted that the variant was ‘probably detected some time ago’ adding ‘and that will be traced very carefully.’
The variant is a different strain compared to those detected in South Africa and the UK, however does share key mutations.
These changes are thought to make it more infectious as in this strain the virus better at attaching itself to human cells.
The news comes after Grant Shapps, transport secretary for the UK told the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning that he was ‘not aware’ of any cases of the Brazilian coronavirus variant in the UK when travellers from South America were banned from entering the UK on Friday.
He since described the ban as ‘precautionary’ to ensure the vaccination programme rolling out across the UK was not disrupted by new variants of the virus.