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Mutated coronavirus strain from mink could have 'grave consequences', Matt Hancock warns


The mutated strain of coronavirus from Danish mink could have “grave consequences”, Matt Hancock warned today.

The Health Secretary said the new variant was a “significant development”. And he told MPs the new form of the virus “did not fully respond to Covid-19 antibodies” - hinting it might not respond in the same way to a vaccine.

The UK banned travel and freight from Denmark on Saturday, going further than the current 14-day quarantine system.

Those who had already passed from Denmark to Britain in the previous 14 days must isolate for two weeks.

Updating the House of Commons, Mr Hancock said: “We’ve been monitoring the spread of coronavirus in European mink farms for some time, especially the major countries for mink farming like Denmark, Spain, Poland and the Netherlands.

“On Thursday evening last I was alerted to a significant development in Denmark of a new evidence that the virus had spread back from mink to humans in a variant form that did not fully respond to Covid-19 antibodies.

“Although the chance of this variant becoming widespread is low, the consequences should that happen would be grave.”

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Source: The Mirror, 10 November 2020

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