Romania confirms first case of UK coronavirus variant

The first patient in Romania with the new strain of the novel coronavirus is a 27-year-old woman from the Danube port of Danube who hasn’t traveled abroad, doctors say.

The unnamed woman has a mild form of the virus and is being treated at home, said Catalin Apostolescu, spokesman for the Matei Bals Infectious Diseases Institute said on Friday.

„One of the  SARS-CoV-2 strains that were reviewed at the institute from Jan. 5-8, is the new more contagious variant linked to Great Britain,” the health ministry said.

The ministry said that “molecular epidemiology” will be used to unravel the actual course of transmission of suspect cases, even before the pathogen travels very far.

The patient is being treated by her family doctor, the health ministry said.

„Taking into account the high contagiousness of this strain, and the ongoing national vaccination campaign, protection measures remain as important as ever: wearing a protective mask, avoiding crowds, social distancing and washing hands. This is the only way to save lives and protect ourselves,” the ministry said.

The spokesman said the woman had apparently not been abroad and an epidemiological investigation was underway to determine how she caught the virus, he told B1 Tv.

The UK -linked coronavirus  variant, which is much more transmissible than the original one, has been detected in 22 European countries, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge said on Thursday.

„This is an alarming situation, which means that for a short period of time we need to do more than we have done and to intensify the public health and social measures to be certain we can flatten the steep vertical line in some countries,” he said.

While it is natural for viruses to change over time and the variant is not believed to cause more severe symptoms, its „increased transmissibility,” means it is still raises concern, according to WHO Europe.


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