Russia has confirmed its first case of the new coronavirus strain that was first seen in the United Kingdom at the end of 2020, reports the country’s chief sanitary doctor, Anna Popova.
According to Popova, the patient is a Russian national who recently returned from Britain. She also clarified that the case was confirmed at the end of December 2020.
A new, more infectious coronavirus strain (B.1.1.7) was first discovered in the UK in September; by mid-December it had spread throughout the country. According to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, this new variant spreads 70 percent faster than previous common strains of COVID-19.
Along with dozens of other countries around the world, Russia has temporarily suspended flights with the UK due to the new coronavirus strain.
On January 7, the World Health Organization announced that the new variant had been detected in 22 European countries.
Scientists and pharmaceutical companies have said that there is no reason to believe that recently developed vaccines against the coronavirus won’t be effective on the new strain.