4 US states confirm cases of Covid-19 variant

A man is wheeled out of a hospital on a stretcher amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S.

Four US states — New York, Colorado, California, Florida — have reported cases of the new and more transmissible Covid-19 variant, which was first discovered in Britain last month.

The latest case was discovered in New York state on Monday, Xinhua news agency reported.

In a statement, Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed that the infected person in his 60s is from Saratoga County and had no known travel history.

“He was symptomatic, but he is on the mend, and he’s doing better. He did not travel recently, so this suggests that it’s in the community, it was community spread as opposed to having travelled to the UK,” the Governor added.

In Florida, a case was detected on December 31, 2020, while California registered one a day earlier.

Last last month, Colorado became the first US state to report a case with the new Covid-19 strain, which was detected in a man in his 20s who also did not have any recent travel history.

The first cases of the new variant have been found in the country’s most populated states amid a busy holiday travel season, making this a cause for concern, Mercedes Carnethon, vice chair of preventive medicine at Northwestern University, told MSNBC.

As the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported screening about 1.28 million passengers on Sunday US airports, Carnethon said that “we can be sure based on the photographs that we all saw from TSA check points over the holidays that millions of people travelled among these destinations”.

“We can be fairly confident this variant is now everywhere,” she added.

The US still remains the worst-hit country in the world with the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths.

In its latest update on Tuesday morning, the Johns Hopkins University revealed that the country’s current caseload and death toll stood at 20,805,262 and 353,371, respectively.

The US accounts for more than 24 per cent of the global cases and over 19 per cent of the global deaths.

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