South Korea has become the latest country to confirm the presence of the new coronavirus variant.
The new variant, listed as VUI-202012/01, was discovered in the UK and is thought to be up to 70% more transmissible – meaning it can spread much faster than the original version.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said the variant had been seen in three people who arrived in South Korea from London on 22 December.
Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player
New COVID variant is becoming ‘dominant’
South Korea has confirmed almost 57,000 cases of the coronavirus and 808 deaths since the pandemic began.
It comes after the variant was confirmed in Norway and on the Portuguese island of Madeira, with arrivals from the UK blamed in both cases.
Two people in the Canadian province of Ontario have been confirmed as infected with the variant, although they had no known travel history, exposure or high-risk contact.
Japan’s first cases included a man who had visited the UK and a member of his family, while Sweden reported a case in a traveller from the UK who fell ill upon arrival and later tested positive for the variant, before going into isolation.
More from Covid-19
A case in France is a French citizen who lives in England and had left London for Tours on 19 December. He is self-isolating at home and is said to be doing fine.
Spain reported its first case of the variant on Saturday, although no further details have yet been revealed.
Other cases have also been confirmed in Denmark, Italy, Gibraltar, the Netherlands, and Australia.
Dozens of countries around the world have placed restrictions on travellers from the UK since the variant was identified in southeast England.
While it is believed to spread faster, there is no evidence so far that the new variant causes more serious illness or is able to evade any of the vaccines that have been approved for use in recent weeks.
Source : Sky News