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Coronavirus: France confirms first case on its soil of British COVID-19 variant

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The first case of a particularly infectious coronavirus variant that recently emerged in Britain has been confirmed in France, the health ministry said on Friday.

The person – a French citizen living in Britain – is asymptomatic and self-isolating at home in Tours in central France, the ministry said.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

The person arrived from London on December 19 and was tested in hospital on December 21 and found to be positive for the strain of the virus known as VOC 202012/01.

“The health authorities have carried out contact-tracing for the health professionals taking care of the patient,” the ministry said in a statement.

Any of their contacts that were seen as vulnerable would similarly be isolated, the statement said.

In addition to this first case, “to date, several positive samples that may suggest the VOC 202012/01 variant are being sequenced” by the specialist laboratories of the national Pasteur Institute, the statement added.

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