Argentina has detected its first case of a British-identified coronavirus variant that appears to be more infectious, authorities said Saturday.
The infection was discovered in a man who arrived from Britain in Argentina in late December without symptoms of the disease.
Authorities "detected the variant of SARS-CoV-2 from the United Kingdom in a traveler," science minister Roberto Salvarezza said wrote Twitter, identifying the strain as "VOC202012/01"
Since first being reported to the World Health Organization in mid-December, the British-identified variant has been found in dozens of countries.
This strain is believed to be more easily transmissible because of a mutation of the spike protein, the part of the virus which latches on to human cells.
Argentina, with a population of 44 million, has seen 1.78 million cases of COVID-19 and 45,227 deaths since March.
Last week, authorities warned of a surge of cases and banned night-time activities and gatherings of more than 10 people.
Direct flights from Britain have been prohibited.
© 2021 AFP