UK has identified 77 cases of South African Covid variant

UK has identified 77 cases of South African Covid variant and nine of a Brazil mutant that are under 'close observation' as experts warn virus is changing so fast new vaccines might be needed EVERY year

By James Tapsfield, Political Editor For Mailonline

Published: 09:41 GMT, 24 January 2021 | Updated: 14:25 GMT, 24 January 2021

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The UK has identified 77 cases of South African coronavirus variant and nine of a Brazilian mutant, it was revealed today - amid warnings the virus is changing so fast new vaccines might be needed every year.

Matt Hancock said the cases were being kept under 'very close observation' stressing that they appeared to be linked to travellers - amid a Cabinet row over how to tighten border rules.

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'They are under very close observation, and we have enhanced contact tracing to do everything we possibly can to stop them from spreading,' the Health Secretary said. 

The figures emerged as Professor Anthony Harnden, deputy chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said the country will need to 'get used to' living with coronavirus.

Speaking on Sky News' Sophy Ridge On Sunday he said: 'I think we have to get used to this.

Professor Anthony Harnden, deputy chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said the country will need to 'get used to' living with coronavirus

Professor Anthony Harnden, deputy chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said the country will need to 'get used to' living with coronavirus

Infections in the UK spiked after a more transmissible variant was identified in Kent

Infections in the UK spiked after a more transmissible variant was identified in Kent

Matt Hancock said the cases were being kept under 'very close observation' stressing that they appeared to be linked to travellers

Matt Hancock said the cases were being kept under 'very close observation' stressing that they appeared to be linked to travellers

'We are living in a world where coronavirus is so prevalent and rapidly mutating there are going to be new variants that pop up in all sorts of different countries.

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