Lancashire Times
Weekend Edition
8:54 PM 29th April 2021

Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19 Variants Identified In UK - 29 April 2021

Latest updates on SARS-CoV-2 variants detected in UK.

Public Health England (PHE) releases weekly updates on the number of confirmed new cases of variants of concern and variants under investigation identified in the UK.

The dominant variant continues to be VOC-20DEC-01 (B.1.1.7) and PHE will continue to monitor all variants closely. The best way to stop the spread of the virus is to remember: hands, face, space and follow the restrictions in place.

Two VUIs added to B.1.617 group

Two variants have been designated Variants Under Investigation by PHE.

The 2 variants, VUI-21APR-02 and VUI-21APR-03, share the same parent lineage (B.1.617) as VUI-21APR-01, first identified in India. PHE has been monitoring these variants since early April.

VUI-21APR-01 was designated a Variant Under Investigation in April. The variant is from the B.1.617 lineage – a distinct fingerprint of genetic mutations. We have also identified cases of 2 additional variants, which are part of the same lineage and so are genetically similar.

While closely related, their genetic profiles are different and have been designated as separate Variants Under Investigation so that we can track them properly and take fast public health action as needed.

VUI-21APR-02 does not have the mutation E484Q while VUI-21APR-03 shares the L452R and E484Q mutations found in VUI-21-APR-01.

There is currently no evidence that these variants cause more severe disease or render the vaccines currently deployed any less effective. PHE is carrying out increased laboratory testing, in collaboration with international partners to better understand the impact of the mutations on the behaviour of the virus and to ensure all appropriate public health interventions are taken.

Identified case numbers remain low and are geographically dispersed in England. Where cases have been identified, additional follow up of cases, testing of contacts and targeted case finding will be used to limit the spread of these variants.

PHE has identified:
172 cases of VUI-21APR-01
202 cases of VUI-21APR-02
5 cases of VUI-21APR-03

All appropriate public health interventions will be undertaken, including additional contact tracing and targeted testing.