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Coronavirus

UK narrows search for person infected with Brazil COVID-19 variant

Published: Updated:

The search for an unidentified sixth person in Britain who tested positive for a coronavirus variant first found in Brazil has been narrowed to under 400 households in southeast England, health minister Matt Hancock said on Tuesday.

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The mystery individual tested positive more than two weeks ago but failed to give proper contact details.

“Our search has narrowed from the whole country down to 379 households in the southeast of England, and we’re contacting each one,” Hancock told parliament.

Britain on Monday appealed for a person infected with a powerful COVID-19 strain from Brazil to come forward as experts fretted about its impact on new vaccines.

The public appeal came a week before England is due to start unwinding its third COVID lockdown, with progress hinging on the vaccines’ ability to curtail the pandemic.

The variant that emerged in Manaus, northern Brazil, has been detected in six people in the UK, one of whom cannot be located after they failed to fill in their contact details on a form after taking their coronavirus test.

Read more:

UK urges person infected with Brazil COVID-19 strain to come forward

Up to six cases of Manaus variant of coronavirus detected in UK