Health minister Matt Hancock said on Sunday that the UK has detected 77 cases of South African COVID-19 variant and nine identified cases of a Brazilian variant, all of them, related to travel from these regions, reported Reuters.
In addition to informing that all these cases are under observation, Hancock urged people to follow lockdown measures to their best as the most effective precaution against the potentially deadliest British variant.
“They are under very close observation, and we have enhanced contact tracing to do everything we possibly can to stop them from spreading,” said the minister during an interview on BBC television.
Anthony Harnden, deputy chair of a scientific committee on vaccination that advises the UK government and an Oxford professor, said that both South African and Brazilian variants were something to worry about since the COVID-19 vaccines could not be efficient against them.
“The new variants abroad are a real worry. The South African and the Brazilian Amazonian ones, there are hints that there will be vaccine escape,” Harnden stated on Sky News, further mentioning that new variants would keep emerging across the world.