Published: Wed, March 03, 2021

Variant Found in Brazil Could Evade Immunity from Past Infection

Variant Found in Brazil Could Evade Immunity from Past Infection

The rules were eventually toughened on 15 February, meaning any British or Irish national who had been in a red list country such as Brazil in the past 10 days had to isolate in a government-controlled quarantine hotel.

They believe that person is unlikely to have taken their test at one of the regional test sites, where staff can check if contact details have been provided, but it could have been a home test or from local surge testing.

They are one of six people who have tested positive for the Brazilian P1 variant, announced on Sunday, with two others near Bristol and three in Scotland.

Scientists say the variant is more transmissible and may be more resistant to existing vaccines than the original virus, and may be able to infect people who have previously had COVID-19.

All three of the Scottish cases were identified as people who had flown from Brazil to Aberdeen via Paris and London who self-isolated for the required period of 10 days.

PHE and NHS Test and Trace are also looking to contact passengers of Swiss Air flight, LX318, which arrived in Heathrow on February 10th from Sao Paulo via Zurich.

The Guardian reports that numerous mutations that affect the variant's spike protein are the same as those found in the B.1.351 variant first identified in South Africa.

There are concerns that vaccines might be less effective against the Brazilian strain, with trials of the Johnson & Johnson jab finding it was slightly less effective in Latin America at preventing mild or moderate cases.

The chairwoman of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, the Labour MP Yvette Cooper, said: "This troubling development shows the weaknesses in the Government's Covid border measures".


The minister also sought to defend the UK's border controls, following accusations the Government has been slow to implement hotel quarantine measures.

Dr Hopkins said: "Manaus in particular reported that a number of individuals were re-infected with this variant, and therefore that suggests that having had prior immunity from primary infection wasn't enough to reduce infection and transmission".

All global passengers arriving at Scottish airports must enter the hotel quarantine system, whereas the UK Government only requires this of those coming from countries on the "red list" - most of which are in South America and Africa. Independent.co.uk says that as a outcome, the scientists cautioned against extrapolating their results to other outbreaks.

Meanwhile, another worrisome variant, homegrown in New York City has spread to 14 other states and infected at least 14 other states.

The health Secretary Matt Hancock will address the nation from Downing Street at 5pm today.

Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford said that he had worries about Boris Johnson's plan for to allow people in England to go on holiday overseas from May.

The latest 24-hour government figures show a further 104 people are reported to have died with Covid, though the figure following a weekend is usually lower than other days of the week.That brings the United Kingdom total to nearly 123,000.

Prof Pollard said around 5,000 people are dying every day from Covid across Europe, where some leaders have shunned the Oxford vaccine for older age groups.

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