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Three cases of Brazilian COVID-19 variant detected in Grampian

The NHS Grampian team ‘is moving to reassure people in the region’ after 3 cases of a new COVID-19 variant have been announced

By Jeevan Bains

Photo courtesy of Aberdeen Airport Media Centre

Three cases of a COVID-19 ‘Variant of Concern’ originating in Brazil have been identified locally.

The cases were confirmed as being the Brazilian variant yesterday, 27 February.

NHS Grampian has reassured locals that ‘specialists have assessed the cases, as part of the Test & Protect strategy’ with ‘their close contacts [being] followed up and are being offered COVID-19 testing as usual’.

This variant has been designated ‘of concern’ as it shares some important mutations with the variant first identified in South Africa and there is some data to suggest that this variant may be more likely to cause COVID-19 infections in people who have been vaccinated or who had been infected with one of the earlier strains of “wild-type” COVID-19.

Two cases of the variant were reported in England from ‘one household in South Gloucestershire’ after returning from Brazil in February – with the travellers avoiding hotel quarantine on arrival back to the UK as travel occurred before measures were put in place in mid-February.

However, the Scottish government has said that the three cases in Scotland ‘are not linked to the England cases’.

NHS Grampian said that ‘the majority of people in Grampian should be reassured that they will not be directly affected by these cases’ before continuing: ‘Everyone must continue to observer the current restrictions and follow the FACTS guidance to reduce their risk of being infected with any strain of COVID-19.’

Anyone who experiences the three key symptoms of COVID-19 - a fever, new persistent cough, or a change/loss in sense of taste or smell - should isolate at home and arrange a test. For students who are not experiencing symptoms, asymptomatic testing is currently available.


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