Two new coronavirus variants which have links to the Covid-19 variant first found in India have been identified in England, it's been reported.
Public Health England (PHE) said the two variants share the same lineage - a distinct fingerprint of genetic mutations – as the Indian variant known as B.1.617.
In light of their finding, the two variants are designated as “variants under investigation” (VUI) – the same as B.1.617 – rather than “variants of concern” (VOC), such as those first identified in Kent, Manaus (Brazil) and South Africa.
PHE said it has identified 202 cases of one of the variants and five cases of the other that are “geographically dispersed in England”.
It said there is no evidence that these variants cause more severe disease or make the current vaccines any less effective.
PHE said it has been monitoring the variants since early April and has increased lab
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