Saturday, May 18, 2024

Spain confirms first case of variant coronavirus found in UK | News on the coronavirus pandemic

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The announcement comes after French and Lebanese authorities also confirmed cases of the British variant.

Four cases of a variant of the coronavirus which recently emerged in the UK and believed to be particularly infectious have been confirmed in Madrid, the regional government said.

The four cases, the first detected in Spain, involved people who had recently arrived from the United Kingdom, Madrid regional government deputy head of health Antonio Zapatero told a press conference on Saturday.

“The patients are not seriously ill, we know this strain is more transmissible, but it does not cause more serious disease,” he said. “There is no need for an alarm.”

There are three other suspected cases of the coronavirus variant, but test results won’t be available until Tuesday or Wednesday, Zapatero said.

Friday, the Lebanese and French authorities confirmed cases of the new variant.

Since Tuesday, Madrid has banned all entry from the UK, except for Spanish nationals and residents.

The news comes as the Spanish government is expected to receive 4.5 million doses of Pfizer vaccine over the next 12 weeks, enough to immunize some 2.2 million people, according to the ministry.

The government expects between 15 million and 20 million of its population of 47 million to be vaccinated against the virus by June.

Travel prohibited

The new strain of the virus, which experts fear may be more contagious, has prompted more than 50 countries to impose travel restrictions on the UK.

The United States on Thursday said it would require all passengers arriving from the UK to test negative for COVID-19 for entry, while China has suspended all flights from Britain due to the new strain.

Other countries that have suspended British travel are France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Ireland, Belgium, Canada, India, Pakistan, Poland , Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Russia and Jordan.

In the Gulf, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman have completely closed their borders.

French authorities, following a 48-hour travel ban this week, have reopened its borders with the UK – in part to allow French citizens to return home, as well as to relieve the massive build-up of freight goods – but had introduced a political test.


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