Health officials are searching for a person infected with Brazilian Covid variant found in UK

Monday, 1st March 2021, 9:30 am
Updated Monday, 1st March 2021, 9:30 am
Health officials are trying to track down one person in England infected with a mutated strain of Covid-19 first found in Brazil (Photo: Shutterstock)

Health officials are trying to track down one person in England infected with a mutated strain of Covid-19 first found in Brazil.

The “variant of concern” was first seen in the city of Manaus and is thought to be spreading more rapidly than the original virus.

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‘This appeal is a belt and braces to try and make sure we locate them as quickly as possible’

Three cases of the P1 variant have been recorded in England and three in Scotland, but one of the cases in England has not yet been identified, Public Health England (PHE) has said.

Two of the cases in England were found to come from a household in South Gloucestershire, where one person returned from Brazil in mid-February before hotel quarantine measures were introduced.

However, the third case is unlinked and the individual currently remains unknown.

PHE said the traveller did not complete their test registration card, but their test was processed on 14 February, so it is likely to have been taken a day or two before this date officials have said.

The test appears to have been taken at home or as part of local surge testing, and anyone who took a test on 12 or 13 February who has not received a result, or has an uncompleted test registration card, is now being asked to immediately come forward.

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi told Sky News: "What we're asking today is, anyone who had a test on 12 or 13 February to contact NHS 119 so that we make sure we identify that individual."

Mr Zahawi also said authorities were working with the postal service in order to locate the person infected with the concerning variant of coronavirus.

When asked if the person had travelled to the UK or contracted the virus here, the minister told BBC Breakfast: “We don’t. Part of the reason why we want to locate them quickly is to understand more about them and their movements.

“They could have had a home test kit or a test kit provided to them by their local authority. But they didn’t fill in the contact details.

“We are working with the postal service to try and get other data to try and locate them, and this appeal is a belt and braces to try and make sure we locate them as quickly as possible.”