Turkey has confirmed its first cases of the UK variant of coronavirus. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced on New Year’s Day that fifteen people traveling from Britain had tested positive for the new more contagious strain.
The discovery has prompted the Turkish authorities to temporarily bar new arrivals from Britain again.
“Through the investigations made into the [coronavirus] mutation originating from the UK, the mutated virus was detected in 15 people who entered Turkey from this country and precautions taken. Entries from the UK to Turkey have been temporarily suspended, said Health Minister Koca on Twitter on Jan. 1.
The Minister also tweeted that those who had been in contact with infected people have also been quarantined, while stressing that all necessary precautions has been taken.
The new variant of coronavirus first detected in Britain in September is more transmissible than other variants, and is believed to be responsible for the current surge in infection rates across the country.
Scientists advising the UK government estimate the mutation could be up to 70% more infectious, although it is not more dangerous. Evidence to date shows the impact of the mutant variant is consistent with the earlier strains of coronavirus.