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First cases of a mutant coronavirus confirmed: Thailand

Thailand has reported the very first local infections of a coronavirus strain first identified in the United Kingdom, increasing the possibility of a new contagion outbreak.

According to Dr. Yong Pooworavan, a virologist at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, the mutant was discovered in samples of blood taken from 24 persons in a recent series of cases that involve visitors of nightclub locations in the capital, Bangkok.

The clubs and bars, as well as another at a jail in the southern region of Narathiwat, had already sparked widespread alarm.

Bangkok city authorities announced the closure of nearly 200 bars and other nightclubs in 3 areas related to the latest reports for couple of weeks on Monday.

Dr. Yong identified the strain as 1.7 X more infectious than the actual coronavirus, which is still prevalent in Thailand, at a press conference held by the Health Ministry.

The mutation was discovered for the very first time in Thailand in January in 4 members of a family who’d been sequestered since returning from the United Kingdom.

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