Missing case of Covid Brazilian variant finally found

The sixth person believed to have contracted the latest variant of the Covid-19 virus was tracked down by the government after going missing for more than two weeks.

They tested positive for the new variant of the coronavirus but did not fill out their records correctly, so NHS staff could not contact them or find out where they lived.

The variant is known as P1 and is believed to have originated in Manaus, Brazil.

The test was conducted in February and since then the Test and Trace team has been working to find the missing person infected with the variant.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced at a government press conference today (March 5) that the person had been found in Croydon and was believed not to have passed the virus on to others.

Mr Hancock said: “Thanks to the brilliant team that has worked so hard over the past week, we have now successfully identified the sixth case of the variant first identified in the affected area in Manaus, Brazil.

“Using the latest technology and the persistent determination of our testing and tracing scheme, we have successfully identified the individual. The best evidence is that that individual stayed home and there was no evidence of a transfer.

“As a precautionary measure, we’re doing additional testing in Croydon, where they live, to minimize the spread.

“This positive result was only possible because we now have tremendous genome sequencing capabilities in this country and in our test and trace team to identify, track and contact these cases.”

At the Downing Street press conference, Dr. Susan Hopkins that a team of 40 specialists – including laboratory staff, logistics teams and data analysts – were brought together to track down the missing man.

The team began their search with just a barcode and the date and time the test was performed. This enabled the team to narrow the search to 10,000 households.

After narrowing the search down even further by tracking test kits through Logisitics hubs, the test and trace team called people who might have been able to submit the test.

The calls have narrowed it down to 27 people.

On Wednesday a person called back and said they had the correct barcode. Those who lived in the household had recently returned from Brazil and all of them had been quarantined on their return.

It is not believed that the new variant was passed on to others.

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