International

California confirms first case of new Covid-19 variant

San Francisco/ Stockholm, Dec 31 (IANS) | Publish Date: 12/31/2020 7:51:55 AM IST

A 30-year-old man from San Diego County was confirmed as the first Covid-19 variant case in California, the most populous state in the US.

On Wednesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom in a joint news conference with Anthony Fauci on Facebook Live announced that the variant, known as B.1.1.7, was detected in Southern California, but did not provide any more specifics on exactly where or how it was discovered, reports Xinhua news agency. Hours later, the San Diego County’s Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said during another online news conference that the infected person was the 30-year-old man with no travel history.
The man became symptomatic on Sunday and was tested on Tuesday, Eric McDonald, the county’s medical director for epidemiology said, adding the new strain was spotted in a sample that came from the University of California San Diego and was confirmed on Wednesday morning.
Fauci, Americas top infectious diseases expert, noted during the conversation with Newsom that he was not surprised about the news of the variant showing up in the Golden State, saying: “I don’t think that Californians should feel that this is something odd, This is something that’s expected.” On Tuesday, the first reported US case of the variant strain, first found in Britain, was discovered in state of Colorado.
Fletcher said the local authority believed the 30-year-old man was not an isolated case in San Diego County, and there were probably other cases of the same strain in the county.
4 new Covid-19 variant cases reported in Sweden
Sweden has reported four cases of the new, more contagious Covid-19 variant, which was first discovered in Britain earlier this month, the country’s Public Health Agency confirmed.
“We always expected to find further cases of this new virus strain. This shows that our extended efforts to analyse and handle cases have been fruitful,” Xinhua news agency quoted state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell as saying in a statemen on Wednesdayt.
To curb the spread of the variant, Sweden on December 21 introduced an entry ban on arrivals from Britain, which Swedish citizens were exempt from. It also barred travellers from neighbouring Denmark following reports of Covid-19 variant cases there. According to Swedish daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, a British Airways flight from London, carrying 29 Swedes and four Finns whose final destination was Helsinki, landed at Stockholm Arlanda Airport on December 26.
None of the 33 passengers were turned away, tested on arrival or required to go into quarantine.
On Wednesday, Interior Minister Mikael Damberg announced that starting from January 1, non-Swedish nationals travelling from Britain will need to show a negative test result not older than 72 hours before entering Sweden.
The rule will not apply to Swedish citizens as they cannot be legally prevented from entering the country, said Damberg.
Swedes arriving from Britain are recommended to self isolate and take a Covid-19 test upon arrival and an additional one five days later.
 

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