According to him, another mutation of SARS-CoV-2 was found in two people. The minister suggested that the new strain came from South Africa, as both cases were found in those who came into contact with those infected from there.
“This new variant [of the coronavirus infection] is of serious concern because it is transmitted faster and apparently mutated more strongly than the previous strain found in the UK,” Hancock stressed. He added that London has already decided to restrict flights to South Africa.
The form of the coronavirus, which was discovered earlier in December, has become widespread in the United Kingdom and is rapidly supplanting the previous strain. The mutated virus has also been found in patients in the Netherlands, Denmark, Australia and Italy.
Although the mutation may make the pathogen more contagious, there is no evidence yet that it facilitates transmission of SARS-CoV-2 or makes the virus more dangerous. Despite this, restrictions on entry from Britain have been imposed in most European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany and France, for example. Russia also halted air links with Britain for a week.