Cyprus officials identify Covid-19 variant

Cyprus officials identify Covid-19 variant

Cyprus' Health Ministry says that a new variant of Covid-19 has been detected among confirmed coronavirus infections on the island nation.

The ministry said on Monday the country's Institute of Neurology and Genetics identified the variant VOC 202012/01 in one of 24 samples collected from individuals who had contracted Covid-19 in the last week of December.

The ministry said due to the small number of samples, it's unclear how widespread the variant is within the community and that more checking will be required to determine that.

On Sunday, the ministry said that the new variant had been identified in 12 of 19 samples from Covid-19 infected persons who had arrived to Cyprus from the United Kingdom between Dec. 6-20.

UK health officials are struggling to control the spread of the new variant that is more contagious than previous variants.

Cyprus, with a population of around 900.000 on Monday announced 665 new Covid-19 infections out of nearly 13,500 tests, raising the overall tally to 24,639 cases. Deaths as a result of the coronavirus have reached 133.


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