Seoul, Dec 28 (efe-epa).- South Korea on Monday said it detected the first cases of the new variant of coronavirus that was first found in the United Kingdom.
The mutant variant has been found in three people who recently arrived from Britain.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said the three South Koreans, members of the same family, who arrived in the country from the UK on Dec. 22, are infected with the new variant.
The KDCA explained that the family lived in London and tested positive for Covid-19 at the airport after landing and were immediately quarantined so they have not had contact with anyone at the community level.
All passengers and crew of their flight are being investigated for possible infections.
Since the pandemic began, all passengers arriving in the country have had to undergo a PCR test and remain in quarantine for 14 days.
South Korea also canceled all direct flights with the UK on Dec. 23 to prevent the entry of the new variant into the country.
The authorities are also investigating the case of an elderly South Korean who died after arriving recently from the UK and who posthumously tested positive for Covid-19 to determine if he was infected with the new variant of the virus.
So far, three of his family members have also tested positive for Covid-19.
They are suspected the possibility that they are infected with the new variant of the virus, which is up to 70 percent more contagious, is also being analyzed.
South Korea is one of the countries that has best controlled the pandemic so far, with just over 800 deaths and about 57,000 cases detected since January.
However, since November, the number of daily new cases has gone up to around 1,000, which has led the authorities to tighten social distancing measures, limit business hours and prohibit gatherings of more than four people. EFE-EPA