Coronavirus / Germany reports first case of UK coronavirus strain

Zoom News : Dec 25, 2020, 08:48 AM
Berlin: German authorities on Thursday confirmed the presence of the  new coronavirus variant  on German soil, adding to fears that the it could start spreading beyond the UK and South Africa.

A woman who flew in from London Heathrow this Sunday tested positive at the Frankfurt airport. Further genetic analysis of the sample at a lab in Berlin identified a case of B.1.1.7, as the variant is known, said authorities in the German state of Baden-Württenberg in a statement.

"It is the first known case in Germany," they said.

The woman, who flew to Germany to visit relatives, was picked up from the airport by relatives and has isolated at the family's home in Baden-Wuerttemberg since then, the state's health ministry said.

She has since developed mild symptoms. Three individuals who have been in close contact with the woman have also quarantined, the statement added. 

Germany limited air travel from the UK  just hours after the patient's flight. Many other countries worldwide also imposed similar restrictions in a bid to stop the spread.

Variant gains foothold in Denmark

The Danish health institute SSI said it has detected 33 cases of the mutated version of the Sars-CoV-2 virus. The infections were found between November 14 and December 14 in the Copenhagen region as well as in North Jutland, Southern Denmark and Zealand.

The institute said the spread reveals that the more infectious variant has gained a foothold in the Nordic country,  albeit a very minor one.

Singapore on Thursday also confirmed its first case of the new version of the coronavirus.