British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Wednesday that another variant of the deadly coronavirus has been detected in the United Kingdom and that is linked to South Africa. Last week, the South Africa health department had said that a new genetic mutation of COVID-19 had been discovered in the country and that might be the reason behind a recent surge in infections.

“Thanks to the impressive genomic capability of the South Africans, we’ve detected two cases of another new variant of coronavirus here in the UK,” Hancock told a media briefing.

“Both are contacts of cases who have travelled from South Africa over the past few weeks,” he added.

Recently, Britain had announced that a mutated strain of coronavirus was found in the UK and it is 70 per cent more transmissible.

“This new variant is highly concerning, because it is yet more transmissible, and it appears to have mutated further than the new variant has been discovered in the UK,” he said.

Hancock added that all those in contact with the infected persons in South Africa must quarantine themselves.

Britain has put immediate restrictions on travel from South Africa.

“So the new variant in the UK, which we’ve identified, is very different to the variant in South Africa, it’s got different mutations,” Susan Hopkins from Public Health England said.

“Both of them look like they’re more transmissible. We have more evidence on the transmission for the UK variant because we’ve been studying that with great detail with academic partners. We’re still learning about the South African variant,” she added.