The National Institute of Health (NIH) has confirmed the presence of the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant amongst two individuals who had visited the UK.

This is in follow up to preliminary reports of the existence of this variant, which have now been confirmed via whole-genome sequencing.

Since the emergence of the new coronavirus variant in the UK, which was reported during December 2020, the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination has required and all inbound passengers from the UK to be tested for SARS-CoV-2 on arrival.

It is also of note that the variant virus reported in the UK has also been detected in 31 other countries so far. The preliminary epidemiologic and clinical findings suggest that the B.1.1.7 variant virus may have a higher transmissibility but without any evidence of increased severity of illness.


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