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S. Korea confirms COVID-19 variant from arrivals from Britain

All News 10:16 December 28, 2020

SEOUL, Dec. 28 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's health authorities on Monday confirmed the country's first cases of a more transmissible variant from three arrivals from Britain.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said the South Korean nationals who came from Britain last week were confirmed to have the new COVID-19 strain.

British analysis suggests the new strain may be up to 70 percent more transmissible than the old variant. The new variant is thought to have first occurred in mid-September in London.

A board shows the arrival time of a flight from London at Incheon airport, west of Seoul, on Dec. 24, 2020, as South Korea has suspended flights arriving from Britain until the end of this year over concerns about a new strain of the novel coronavirus. The flight from London carried cargo only with no passengers. (Yonhap)

Separately, an elderly South Korean man, who recently returned from Britain, has posthumously tested positive for COVID-19, with three of his family members confirmed to have contracted COVID-19.

A thorough investigation is ongoing to look into whether they were also infected with the new variant.

South Korea earlier announced that it will suspend flights arriving from Britain until the end of this year.

The country added 808 more COVID-19 cases on Monday, staying below 1,000 for the second straight day, according to the KDCA.

khj@yna.co.kr
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