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British Vaccination Minister Nadhim Zahawi in Westminster, London in December 2020. Justin Tallis / AFP / Getty Images

Health officials in England are still trying to track down one of the six UK-registered cases of the coronavirus variant that were first discovered in Brazil.

On Sunday, Public Health England announced that six cases of the variant (known as P.1) first identified in Manaus, Brazil, have been discovered in the UK – three of those cases have been identified in England.

While two of the cases identified in England were traced back to “a South Gloucestershire household with a history of travel to Brazil”, there is currently a third, unrelated case, it said.

U.K. Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Sky News Monday that the person who had not yet been tracked had not filled out their test card details and that they “would likely have been given a kit or test kit (at home).” from the local authority, ”said Zahawi.

What we are asking today is anyone who had a test on February 12 or 13 to contact NHS 119. So we make sure that we identify this person. ”

The other two cases of the P.1 variant have been identified in South Gloucestershire “which have correctly self-isolated” and there is “minimal reason to believe that further spread may occur,” added the minister .

The three other cases of the variant have been identified in Scotland and are not linked to the cases in England, the UK government said in a statement on Sunday.

Zahawi emphasized that the Brazilian variant is a “worrying variant” and adds that “it is very similar to the South African variant in terms of its mutations. So it’s about that. “

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The variant with the designation B.1.351 or 501Y.V2 observed for the first time in South Africa shows a different mutation pattern that causes more physical changes in the structure of the spike protein than the British variant (B.1.1.7).

An important mutation, called E484K, appears to affect the receptor binding domain – the part of the spike protein that is most important for attachment to cells and which could help the virus partially escape the effects of vaccines.

The Brazilian variant P.1 also carries the E484K mutation.

Read more about the variants here:

New coronavirus variants keep popping up. Here's what we know about them
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