The new strain of coronavirus, which has been linked to a rapid rise in infections in Britain, has been detected in three passengers who returned from the United Kingdom, the Sindh Health Department confirmed on Tuesday.
In a Twitter post, the department said: “Samples of 3 UK returnees show a 95% match to the new Corona Virus variant from UK in the first phase of Genotyping.”
Health officials said they took samples of 12 people upon their return from the UK for genotyping, out of which six turned out to be positive while three showed the new strain of the virus in the first phase.
“The Genotyping showed 95% match of the new variant from the UK,” they said. The officials said these samples will go through another phase of genotyping.
The department said the contact tracing of these patients is underway and their contacts are being isolated also.
Earlier, the new more “severe” coronavirus strain was detected in Britain and South Africa with experts claiming it spreads quicker than current types of the virus.
The virus contains higher level of viral load. The new COVID variant is more worrisome as it tends to affect young people more seriously. Besides, researchers said the strain spreads quickly and is responsible for the second wave of the disease in Britain and South Africa.
It is also feared the strain may now be immune to certain antibodies triggered at the start of the pandemic