LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says a variant of the coronavirus, which can be up to 70% more contagious, is spreading rapidly in Britain. A separate variant, first discovered in South Africa, is also a cause for concern.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says there is not enough information to determine whether the new variant could damage an internationally launched vaccine.
The following countries are among countries that have reported the new coronavirus variant, which was first identified in China a year ago, among their populations.
* SWISS has documented five cases of the British variant and two cases of the South African mutation, a health ministry official said on Tuesday, adding he anticipates more cases will emerge.
* DENMARK has identified 33 infections with a variant spreading in the UK, authorities said on December 24.
* FRANCE, with the highest number of coronavirus cases in the European Union, recorded the first variant of a Frenchman arriving back from London.
* INDIA has found six cases of the coronavirus variant on flights from the UK and is likely to extend a flight ban to keep it safe, officials said on Tuesday.
* JAPAN on Monday detected a variant found in South Africa, the government said, the first in a country that has identified more than a dozen cases of the variant spreading in Britain.
* SOUTH KOREA said the variant found in Britain was found in three people who entered South Korea from London on December 22. Officials promised to speed up vaccinations.
* NORWAY says a variant circulating in the UK has been detected in two people who arrived from the UK in early December.
* AUSTRALIA said two travelers from England carried a variant found in England.
* JORDAN has detected the first two cases of the variant spreading in the UK. The kingdom last week banned flights to and from the UK until January 3.
* GERMANY says a British variant has been found in passengers flying to Frankfurt from London on December 20. It appears that the variant has been present in Germany since November, Die Welt daily reported on Monday.
* ITALY detected a patient infected with a variant found in Britain, the health ministry said on December 20.
* A variant linked to the UK has been detected on the island of Madeira in PORTUGAL, the regional civil protection authority said.
* Health officials in FINLAND say a variant circulating in the UK has been detected in two people, while a variant spreading in South Africa has been detected in one other person.
* SWEDEN says a variant circulating in the UK has been detected after a traveler from the UK fell ill on arrival and tested positive.
* Officials in CANADA say that two confirmed cases of the variant detected in the UK have emerged in the Canadian province of Ontario.
* IRELAND on Christmas Day confirmed the presence of the British variant and said further testing will determine how far it will spread.
* LEBANON detects first case of the coronavirus variant on a flight arriving from London.
* UNITED ARAB EMIRATES found a “limited number” of cases of people infected with the new variant, a government official said on Tuesday. He said those affected had traveled from abroad, without specifying where or the number of cases.
* SINGAPORE confirmed the first case of the variant found in Britain, a patient who arrived from the UK on December 6, while 11 others who are already in quarantine have given initial positive results for the new strain.
* ISRAEL detected four cases of the coronavirus that emerged in the UK. Three of the cases were refugees returning from the UK.
* The variant spreading in Britain appears to have infected two students returning to HONG KONG from Britain, the Health Ministry said last week.
* PAKISTAN health officials said on Tuesday that a variant found in Britain had been detected in the southern province of Sindh.
* And other variants of the coronavirus may have emerged in NIGERIA, said the head of the African disease control agency, warning that further investigation was needed.
Written by Nick Macfie; Edited by Bernadette Baum