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Virus strain spreading in Britain detected in Singapore

(The first shipment of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine arrives in Singapore on Dec 21. Photo: Reuters)

SINGAPORE, (AFP):- A potentially more contagious coronavirus strain spreading in Britain has been found in Singapore for the first time, in a young woman who returned from Britain earlier this month, the Health Ministry said.

The 17-year-old was confirmed infected with the virus on Dec 8 while in quarantine. A further test showed the virus was the B117 variant.

The ministry was awaiting the results of additional tests on 11 returnees from Europe who have tested “preliminarily positive” for the strain.

It added, however, that “there is currently no evidence that the B117 strain is circulating in the community”.

Singapore has banned the entry of foreign nationals without permanent residency who recently travelled to Britain.

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