Germany reports first case of coronavirus variant spreading in Britain
From Ludwig Burger
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A new variant of the pandemic SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which is rapidly spreading in Great Britain, was first found in Germany, the state of Baden-Württemberg announced on Thursday.
The infected person flew from London Heathrow to Frankfurt on December 20 to visit relatives and tested positive on arrival. Another genetic analysis of the sample in a laboratory in Berlin revealed a case of B.1.1.7, as the variant is called, said the southwest German Ministry of Health in a statement.
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"This is the first known case in Germany," he added.
The person, who has since developed mild symptoms, was picked up from the airport by family members by car and has since been isolated at the family's residence in Baden-Württemberg, the ministry added.
Three people who were in close contact with the person have also been quarantined, it said.
The rapid spread of the new variant in Great Britain has led some European countries to cut transport links.
Singapore also confirmed its first case of the new variant of coronavirus on Thursday.
(This story is being rewritten to correct typing errors in the heading.)
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; editing by Maria Sheahan)
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