UK finds missing case of Brazil COVID-19 variant, says no sign it has spread

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English health authorities have tracked down a previously-unidentified person who tested positive for a variant of COVID-19 first identified in northern Brazil, and said there were no signs the person had spread the virus.

Health officials had said on Sunday they had not been able to account for one of six cases in the country of the highly transmissible Brazil variant, known as P1.

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"We've successfully identified the person in question," health minister Matt Hancock told a news conference on Friday.

"The best evidence is that this person in question stayed at home and there's no sign that there's been any onward transmission," he said, adding the person was located in Croydon in south London and testing in the area had been increased as a precaution.

Sunday's announcement was the first time the variant had been detected in Britain and triggered an intensive search to find the unidentified person.

The person lived in a household that had recently returned from Brazil, health official Susan Hopkins said.

She set out how they had been tracked down by cross referencing testing and postal data to produce a narrowed down list of possible candidates, who were then contacted by tracing teams.

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