The fast spreading variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus discovered in the UK has now been detected in seven Swiss cantons, according to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), reported RTS.
So far 28 people in Switzerland have tested positive for the new UK variant, said Virginie Masserey of the FOPH. The variant has been detected in Vaud, Geneva, Valais, Bern, Zurich, St-Gallen and another canton. Some of those infected had travelled from the UK or been in contact with someone who had. While others fell into neither of these categories, said Masserey.
The presence and spread of the new variant is a reason for increasing efforts to reduce the number of cases. Masserey asked those who have travelled to the UK or South Africa to report this if they are tested so that DNA sequencing can be done to establish which variant they might be infected with.
The emergence of the new variant coincides with a steep rise in infections in the UK. Today, the UK government reported a record 60,916 new daily cases. UK hospital patient numbers have shot up by nearly 40% over the last three weeks. UK hospitals are now braced for a further influx of patients from infections that occurred over Christmas in areas of the country not subject to a strict lockdown.