A new mutant strain of the novel Coronavirus discovered in the UK has now reached Asia and has been diagnosed in two students in Hong Kong.
According to the local health department, the two students came to Hong Kong from the UK. On their return to Hong Kong in December, the two students were tested for COVID-19 and their samples matched a new strain discovered in the UK.
The samples are being further tested to confirm the virus, said Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan of the Hong Kong Center for Health Protection.
Hong Kong has banned flights from the UK following the discovery of a new strain of the virus.
On the other hand, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said that the government has purchased 7.5 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and is looking for more sources of an adequate supply of the vaccine to the 7.5 million citizens of Hong Kong.
“Residents will be given a chance to decide which vaccine they want to take. I urge the public to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their loved ones,” Lam said.
Hong Kong has previously received 7.5 million doses of China’s Sinovac Biotech Limited’s COVID-19 vaccine and 7.5 million doses of the Biotech vaccine.
The new strain of the coronavirus has caused concern around the world, leading to an increase in the spread of the disease in various parts of the UK.
Strict sanctions have been imposed in various areas, including London, following the new discovery by the British government.
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson and his chief scientific advisers have said that this new type of Code 19 could increase the spread rate by up to 70%.
The new British variety, known as VUI 202012/01 or Lineage B117, was first announced on December 14 by British Health Minister Matt Hancock.
It was also confirmed by Public Health England and the UK COVID-19 Sequencing Consortium, according to which the first sample was found on September 20 in Kent County.
There are 14 mutations in this new strain of coronavirus, 7 of which occurred in spike proteins.
It is the same protein that helps the virus enter human cells, and such a large number of mutations are more noticeable than any other type of virus circulating around the world.
So far, such genomes have been found in most cases in the UK, but they have been detected in Denmark and Australia, and one case has been reported in the Netherlands.
Chris White, the UK’s chief medical officer, said there was no evidence that the new strain could change the severity of the disease, and that research was underway to confirm it.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. He said the mutation would not affect the effectiveness of the vaccine. Pfizer and Bio-Tech are working to test it.