COVID: New rare variant found in Naples, 1st time in Italy

(ANSA) – NAPLES, FEB 17 – A new and rare variant of the
COVID-19 virus has been found in Naples, the regional government
said Tuesday night.
    It is the first time in Italy that this variant has been
detected.
    The strain was identified by the Federico II University and the
Pascale Institute.
    “For the moment we do not know the variant’s power of infection
nor its other characteristics, as is the case for other rare
variants,” the regional government said in a statement.
    It said it was called B.1.525 and so far only 32 cases have been
found in the UK, and a few others in Nigeria, Denmark and the
USA.
    “It has never been seen before in Italy”.
    The proliferation of new virus strains, and the growing
predominance of the deadlier and more contagious British
variant, has spurred some health officials to call for a fresh
four-week lockdown in Italy, sparking the ire of politicians who
say Italy has endured enough restrictions and people are
suffering too many economic consequences. (ANSA).
   

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