Singapore confirms 1st case of new Covid-19 strain

Bangkok Desk, Dec 24 (efe-epa).- Singapore has confirmed its first case of a person infected with the new variant of Covid-19 discovered in the United Kingdom.

The patient is a 17-year-old Singaporean who returned to the city state on Dec. 6 from the UK, where she had been studying since August, the Ministry of Health said in a statement Wednesday night.

The infected girl was in isolation when she started to experience a fever and her positive diagnosis was confirmed two days after her arrival in the Asian country.

The teenager has already finished the quarantine period and tested negative again; while her family members and people in direct contact with her have also tested negative.

According to the ministry, being an isolated case that was detected early, the chain of infection was cut and there is no reason to believe that the new variant of the virus is circulating in Singapore.

The Singaporean authorities are analyzing recent positive cases among people from Europe to determine if any of them were also carriers of the new strain.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Ministry of Health also confirmed Wednesday that it has identified a new strain, similar to those found in Australia, South Africa and the Netherlands, in samples taken from patients with Covid-19 in the eastern region of Sabah on Borneo island, but did not provide further details.

On Dec. 14, the British health secretary, Matt Hancock, warned about a “new variant” of SARS-CoV-2 that had been identified there and spreads very quickly.

The new variant of the coronavirus is 70 percent more contagious than others and has been responsible for an increase in cases in the United Kingdom, according to experts, although it is not considered for the moment more virulent or immune to vaccines that are already being distributed.

Confirmed cases with the new variant have already been detected in other countries such as Denmark, Australia, South Africa and Italy, among others.

This situation has led to many countries suspending flights to and from the UK, while the British government has imposed hard restrictions on movement within its territory. EFE-EPA


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