A NEW Thai coronavirus variant has been detected in the UK as cases of the Indian variant continue to circulate.
Data from Public Health England (PHE) has revealed that there is a new variant under investigation known as C.36.3.
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However just 109 cases of the strain have been detected and it is thought that the variant was first detected in Thailand in cases of people who had originally travelled from Egypt.
Experts at PHE said there is no evidence that the Thai variant causes more severe disease.
They also today said that there is no evidence to suggest that the three vaccines being rolled out across the county don’t work against the Thai strain.
Lab tests are currently being carried out to further understand how the virus behaves.
PHE did not disclose where the cases had been detected but said that where they have been identified – follow ups have been made in order to limit the spread.
The weekly report from PHE also states that there are now 6,959 cases of the Indian variant across the country.
Extra measures are still being rolled out in hotspot areas such as Bolton, Bedford and Blackburn with Darwen and a cluster of cases has mainly been seen in the North of England.
Areas across Greater Manchester have also seen a rise in cases as the Indian variant continues to takes hold.
In Bolton there are 1,354 cases of the variant, and surge testing and extra vaccine capacity has been rolled out.
The army has been rolled out in the area and has visited over 4,000 houses, deploying over 1,500 test kits.
In Bedford there are 366 cases of the Indian variant and in Blackburn with Darwen there are 361.
PHE added that there are a small number of cases in most parts of the country.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock this evening said that people getting their jabs is the “best way” out of the pandemic.
He said cases of the Indian variant remain focused in “hotspots” where surge testing and extra vaccinations have been rolled out to combat it.
Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive, UK Health Security Agency said as cases of the Indian variant rise in some areas, people should continue to be cautious and follow the guidance.
She added: “We now know that getting both vaccine doses gives a high degree of protection against this variant and we urge everyone to have the vaccine when the NHS invites you.
“Please follow the public health advice and make sure that you remain careful, work from home if you can, meet people outside where possible and remember “hands, face, space, fresh air” at all times.
“This is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from this variant.”