FIle photo Photograph:( Reuters )
According to Public Health England, those who tested positive and their contacts have been traced, and have been advised to isolate
Scientists in the United Kingdom have identified 16 cases of a new COVID-19 variant, health officials announced on Friday.
According to Public Health England, those who tested positive and their contacts have been traced, and have been advised to isolate.
As per protocol, variants of coronavirus are identified as either "under investigation" or "of concern". The new variant was designated as "under investigation" on February 24, and is believed to have originated in the UK.
It is normal for variants of a virus to emerge regularly, and based on analyses, experts decide the gravity of the variants. The new variant, which is being referred to as VUI-202102/04, was first identified on February 15.
The variant contains a mutation called "E484K", which has been spotted in two other variants which are already under investigation in the UK, The Independent reported.
The variant, fortunately, does not include the mutation called N501Y, which has been spotted in all variants of concern.
Currently, scientists in the UK are tracking four variants "under investigation", and four "of concern", including the ones that first detected in Kent and Bristol in the UK, and the ones first seen in South Africa and Brazil.
The country has reportedly undertaken further testing in the areas reporting infections to limit the potential spread of these variants.