Investigation Into New Thai COVID-19 Variant Found in UK

Data from Public Health England (PHE) has revealed that a new COVID-19 variant found in the UK is under investigation.

The variant is known as C.36.3 and was first detected in Thailand.

It has emerged as recorded cases of the Indian strain have doubled in a week.

The first cases of infections with the new variant were people who traveled from Egypt. The news comes after PHE announced that the so-called Yorkshire variant was under investigation as a new strain with 25 mutations appeared in and around Sheffield.

Reports indicate that PHE has detected 109 cases of the new Thai variant in the UK so far.

Health officials in the UK stressed that there is no evidence suggesting that the new strain causes more serious symptoms or severe disease. They also mentioned that no proof shows the three vaccines currently administered in the country would not work against the new Thai variant.

Currently, tests to better understand the behavior of the virus are underway.

Experts have said that two doses of vaccines offer a decent level of protection against the Indian variant.

However, it is somewhat weaker compared to other variants, particularly after the first dose.

The jab’s response against the C36.3 strain has yet to be studied and analyzed.

While PHE did not reveal where the cases had been detected, the test and trace system has been used to stem the COVID-19 spread. The move comes after the number of infections with the Indian variant increased from 3,424 last week to 6,959 this week, the latest PHE figures showed.

However, even though cases have doubled, reports suggested that the spread rate has slowed slightly, as infections were more than doubling in earlier weeks.

Authorities urge people not to be anxious and to remain calm.

Speaking about the Yorkshire variant on Thursday, Sheffield Public Health Director Greg Fell said: “Please don’t be alarmed, we want you to continue doing what you have been for the past year. Follow the guidance, continue to wash your hands regularly and wear a mask indoors.”

“Where cases have been identified, additional follow-up of cases, testing of contacts and targeted case-finding will be used to limit the spread of variants,” he added.