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NEWLY REPORTED COVID-19 CASES IN LAST 24 HOURS (6.15.2021, 11:19am CEST, WHO):   U.S. 8,197    India 70,421    Brazil 37,948    France 2,850    Turkey 5,012    Russia 13,721    The United Kingdom 7,319    Italy 1,390    Argentina 13,043    Columbia 28,519    Iran 10,715    Mexico 1,707    Peru 2,566    Indonesia 8,189    South Africa 7,657    The Netherlands 1,066    Chile 6,190    Canada 1,120    Philippines 6,426    Iraq 5,040    Pakistan 1,019    Bangladesh 3,050    Japan 1,076    Malaysia 4,949    Nepal 2,049    United Arab Emirates 1,837    Saudi Arabia 1,109    Bolivia 1,607    Paraguay 1,786    Panama 1,573    Tunisia 1,316    Uruguay 2,043    Kuwait 1,563    Venezuela 1,377    Oman 1,806    Sri Lanka 2,284    Thailand 3,355    Cuba 1,349    Zambia 1,414    Afghanistan 1,814    Mongolia 2,263    Uganda 1,727    China 206    Singapore 25    New Zealand 1    Australia 14    South Korea 374   

UK elevates Indian COVID strain to 'variant of concern'

Christian Fernsby |
Health authorities in England on Friday elevated one subtype of the so-called Indian variant from under investigation to a Variant of Concern (VOC) following a rise in the number of cases in the UK and evidence of community transmission.

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The B.1.617.2, classified as a Variant Under Investigation (VUI) on April 28, is now known as VOC-21APR-02 after it was found to be at least as transmissible as the so-called Kent variant, detected in England last year and the dominant variant in the UK so far.

“Cases of VOC-21APR-02 have increased to 520 from 202 over the last week and almost half the cases are related to travel or contact with a traveller,” Public Health England (PHE) said.

Following a rise in UK cases and evidence of community transmission, we've reclassified VUI-21APR-02 (a #COVID19 variant first detected in India) as a Variant of Concern.

The cases are spread across the country, however, the majority of the cases are in two areas the north west of England, predominantly Bolton, and London where the greatest transmission of the variant has been observed.

However, PHE said there is insufficient evidence to suggest if the variant is also more dangerous in that it can escape vaccine protection.

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