REUTERS

Ukrainian infectious disease expert Viktor Petrov claims a new mutant coronavirus (COVID-19) strain has already appeared in the country's Zakarpattia region.

According to Petrov, changes in the clinical picture of coronavirus infection could be seen in the regions bordering other European countries, TV Channel Ukraina 24 reported on December 21.

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"My patient Mykola is one of such cases. He is a labor migrant, shuttling between Ukraine and the Czech Republic. He has already had this new variant identified by Britain. When it came to verifying this [strain], Ukraine was unable to identify this virus in mass testing. But people insured in EU countries could confirm the already mutated virus. Thus, I was able to confirm cases with the new coronavirus strain in Zakarpattia," he said.

The doctor added that the virus would be mutating very actively, and this is natural: "Why? Because it contains only one RNA, being the only carrier of genetic information."

Background

  • On December 14, UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matthew Hancock said that a new strain of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus had been identified in the country. It is more transmissible than others in circulation.
  • On December 15, the danger of the new COVID-19 strain was assessed by the World Health Organization.
  • On December 20, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson noted that the new virus could be 70% more infectious.
  • After that, a number of countries decided to restrict transport services with Britain.
  • Meanwhile, it became known that the new strain appeared in the UK way back in September and began to actively spread since the middle of November.