Update: 01 Jan 2021 04:12 STI
Paris [France]January 1 (ANI / Sputnik): France has registered its first case of a new strain of coronavirus, known as variant 501.V2 and linked to South Africa, the health ministry said Thursday from the country.
According to the statement, a man who recently returned to the country from South Africa and living in the French department of Haute-Rhin near the Swiss border, has been confirmed to have contracted the virus. Days after returning from South Africa, the man exhibited symptoms of COVID-19. His PCR test came back positive.
Swiss and French infectious disease specialists conducted a study and confirmed that it was strain 501.V2.
Besides France, several other countries have reported SARS-CoV 2 strain 501.V2, including Switzerland, Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the 501.V2 variant is even more dangerous than another new strain of coronavirus which has been spreading in his country since September and is known to be up to 70% more contagious . South Africa said there was no evidence to support this claim.
Many countries around the world have halted air traffic with the UK and South Africa due to new variants of the coronavirus. (ANI / Sputnik)