A thriller person within the UK contaminated with the Covid variant of concern first found in Brazil has now been traced.
Last week, it was introduced that six circumstances of the P.1 variant had been found within the UK – however the identification of one of many circumstances was unknown.
The person, who lives in Croydon, has been traced, as have their contacts.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock stated the person “stayed at home” and there was no signal of any onward transmission – however native testing is being rolled out.
Scientists say the variant seems to be extra contagious and there are issues vaccines will not be as efficient in opposition to it.
But Dr Susan Hopkins from Public Health England stated it hoped vaccines would have a powerful affect on lowering hospitalisations and deaths in circumstances of the brand new variant.
News that the Brazil variant had been found within the UK was launched final Sunday. Three circumstances had been found in England, and individually three in Scotland.
The three circumstances in Scotland had been all oil staff who had been returning to their households from Brazil, by way of Paris and London. Health officers have been attempting to hint all of the passengers who had been on their flight from Heathrow to Aberdeen.
In England, two of the circumstances are from the identical family in South Gloucestershire who examined constructive after somebody returned from Brazil on 10 February.
The third case in England – now confirmed to be in Croydon – was unknown for a number of days after she or he didn’t register their check correctly.
Dr Hopkins stated the person was lastly recognized once they referred to as the NHS 111 quantity, after officers had spent days contacting potential households.
The person lived in a family that had lately returned from Brazil and all of them had quarantined at house, she added.
Mr Hancock stated contact-tracers had labored “flat out” to slim the search.
“The best evidence is this person in question stayed at home and there’s no sign that there’s been any onward transmission but as a precaution we’re putting more testing in in Croydon, where they live, to minimise risk of spread,” he stated.
Earlier this week, Mr Hancock stated work was below strategy to tweak the vaccines to make them a greater match for a few of the new strains.
Dr Hopkins stated there was not but information to point out whether or not the vaccine was efficient in opposition to this variant – however there was some information for the variant from South Africa “and we expect that it should at least perform in a similar way”.
“And therefore we think that it’s likely there may be some reduction in risk of transmission, or reducing the risk of transmission, but we at least hope at the moment that it will have a strong impact in reducing hospitalisations and deaths.
“We do want to attend for research to return out from South America and particularly Brazil, and people will come however it’s going to take weeks reasonably than days I’m afraid.”
The variant has been designated “of concern” because it shares some important mutations with the variant first identified in South Africa.
One of these mutations – called E484K – may help the virus evade some of the immunity people may have already built against Covid.
Preliminary data from Manaus – the Brazilian city hit hard by this P.1 variant – suggested the variant could be up to twice as transmissible as earlier Covid.
But experts said this should not be used to predict what might happen in the UK.
One of the lead researchers said it was unlikely P.1 would quickly take off in Britain when only six cases had been identified and these were being closely monitored.
Meanwhile, two-fifths of all adults in the UK have now had their first dose of the vaccine, Mr Hancock also said at Friday’s press conference.
He said the fall in the number of deaths was accelerating – down 41% compared with last week – which suggested the vaccination programme was working.
“What this all exhibits is that the hyperlink from circumstances to hospitalisations after which to deaths that had been unbreakable earlier than the vaccine – that hyperlink is now breaking,” he said.
Latest government figures show the total number of people who have had their first dose of vaccine has now reached 21,358,815, while the number who have had their second dose has topped one million.
There have been another 5,947 cases announced and a further 236 people recorded as having died within 28 days of testing positive.