More nations report new Covid-19 strain
Fears over the new, fast-spreading Covid-19 strain from the UK escalated on Saturday after France, Spain and Sweden joined a growing list of countries that have confirmed that the variant has reached their shores.
In France, officials revealed that a Frenchman living in Britain had tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving from London, adding that he was not showing any symptoms and was isolating.
In Spain, four cases were confirmed in Madrid on Saturday, though the patients were not seriously ill, the Madrid regional government’s deputy health chief Antonio Zapatero said, adding “there is no need for alarm”.
Sweden identified its first case of the mutation after a person from the UK visited the Nordic nation to celebrate Christmas in the Sormland region. There’s a risk more people in Sweden have been infected by the variant, according to Signar Makitalo, the infection prevention doctor for the region. The country’s health agency has asked everyone in Sweden who has travelled from the UK after December 12 be tested for the coronavirus.
The new strain, which experts fear is more contagious than the earlier one, has prompted over 50 countries to impose travel restrictions on the UK.
Japan will halt new non-resident foreign arrivals coming from overseas from Monday until late January after reporting its first cases of the new strain.
As the global number of Covid-19 cases neared 80mn on Saturday, Hungarian doctors and health care workers began getting vaccinated on Saturday with one of the continent’s first shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, upsetting the EU’s plans for a coordinated roll-out of the first shots across the 27-nation bloc on Sunday.
A doctor in Boston with a shellfish allergy had a severe allergic reaction after receiving Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine on Thursday, The New York Times reported on Friday, citing the doctor. Hossein Sadrzadeh, a geriatric oncology specialist, had a severe reaction after being vaccinated, feeling dizzy and with a racing heart, NYT reported.