UK probing new Covid variant

Public Health England (PHE) said that it has designated a new Covid-19 strain identified in the UK as a Variant Under Investigation (VUI).

Two cases of the variant, called VUI-202103/01, have so far been found in southeast England in individuals who had recently travelled to Antigua, Xinhua news agency quoted the PHE as saying on Thursday.

The variant contains the spike mutations E484K and N501Y, both of which are usually associated with some previously identified variants that have been designated as Variants of Concern (VOC), the health agency further said.

Contact tracing teams have completed thorough investigations to identify and follow up any close contacts and no additional cases have been found to date, it added.