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Italy detects new mutated Covid-19 strain in UK returnee

A passenger walks at Fiumicino airport after the Italian government announced all flights to and from the UK will be suspended over fears of a new strain of the coronavirus, (REUTERS)Premium
A passenger walks at Fiumicino airport after the Italian government announced all flights to and from the UK will be suspended over fears of a new strain of the coronavirus, (REUTERS)

  • Italy has detected a new coronavirus strain with mutations in a person who recently returned from the United Kingdom
  • On Saturday,UK locked down parts of the country after admitting that more than half of all new Covid-19 cases had been caused by a mutated, more infectious coronavirus strain

Rome: Italy on Sunday said it has detected a new coronavirus strain with mutations in a person who recently returned from the United Kingdom.

On Saturday, the United Kingdom government locked down parts of the country including London after admitting that more than half of all new Covid-19 cases had been caused by a mutated, more infectious coronavirus strain.

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"The patient and their partner returned from the United Kingdom several days ago, landing in Rome's Fiumicino airport. They are now isolated and have observed, together with family and close contacts, all procedures proscribed by the health authorities," Sputnik quoted the ministry's statement.

According to the communication, the genome of the UK coronavirus strain has been established by experts of the Celio military hospital in Rome.

The new strain of Covid-19 is "out of control", said UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Sunday.

"The only way you can do that is by restricting social contacts and essentially, especially in Tier 4 areas, everybody needs to behave as if they may well have the virus and that is the way that we can get it under control and keep people safe," he added.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday announced new tier-4 Covid-19 restrictions in parts of England, including London, due to the rapid spread of a new variant of coronavirus, limiting the celebrations.

A growing number of countries on Sunday halted flights from the UK following the discovery of a new variant of Covid-19, which is said to spread faster than other versions of the virus.

According to CNN, Italy Foreign Affairs Minister Luigi Di Malo on Sunday informed that the country will also suspend flights to and from the UK citing the new strain of the coronavirus, although he did not provide more details.

CNN reported that the Netherlands government is banning all passenger flights coming from the UK from Sunday morning until the New Year in order to minimise the risk of the new strain from spreading in the country as much as possible, according to a press release.

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