coronavirus model generic | A computer image created by Nexu Science Communication together with Trinity College in Dublin, shows a model structurally representative of a betacoronavirus which is the type of virus linked to COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus linked to the Wuhan outbreak, shared with Reuters on February 18, 2020.
Image Credit: Reuters

London: A mystery person with a concerning Brazilian variant of the coronavirus in the UK has been found after a five-day hunt, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Public Health England said last Sunday that six cases of the variant, which originated in the Amazonian city of Manaus, had been detected in the UK - but the identity of the final patient was unknown because they failed to complete a test registration card.

On Wednesday the search was narrowed to 379 households in the south of England, and that person has now been traced. Health authorities are trying to stop the spread of the variant, known as P1, because of concerns that it may respond less well to current vaccines.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned that the emergence of a vaccine-resistant variant could derail the planned timings for reopening parts of the economy that have been under lockdown for over two months. Non-essential shops and outdoor hospitality are due to open again in April.