Coronavirus: Iran finds first case of new COVID-19 variant in traveler from UK

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Iran has registered its first case of a highly contagious coronavirus variant that emerged in Britain, in an Iranian who arrived from the UK, Health Minister Saeed Namaki said on Tuesday.

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“Unfortunately, we found the first case of the mutated British COVID-19 from a dear compatriot who had returned from England, ... and who was admitted to one of our private hospitals,” Namaki told state TV. “We did not find any trace of this virus in the patient’s relatives.”

Last week, Iran launched the first phase of a clinical trial of a vaccine developed in the Islamic Republic, the region’s country hardest hit by the pandemic, state television reported.

“The first vaccine against the coronavirus, developed by Iranian researchers, has been unveiled by injecting three people,” the public broadcaster said.

The novel coronavirus has killed nearly 55,000 out of more than 1.2 million people infected in Iran, according to health ministry data.

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