However, they are believed to be more contagious than the original strain that started the pandemic.
A higher infection rate inevitably means more vulnerable people are likely to need hospital care – when the NHS is already reaching full capacity.
Professor Devi Sridhar, chair of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, said the world has become the “virus’s playground”.
Symptoms of new covid strain
Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) detected the new covid variant in four travellers from Brazil’s Amazonas state on January 2.
One male in his 40s, who was asymptomatic on his arrival in Japan, was later hospitalised as the virus attacked his respiratory system.
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