The new variant of the coronavirus, which is believed to have emerged in the UK, has now been reported by Canada, Spain, and Sweden.
The new strain has been reported as highly contagious.
Canada has confirmed its first two cases in the province of Ontario in a statement issued on Saturday by chief medical officer Dr Barbara Yaffe.
Sweden’s health agency announced on Boxing Day that a traveler who fell ill after arriving from Britain had tested positive with health official Sara Byfors saying that the person in question was self-isolating and no further cases had yet come to light.
Authorities there had attempted to stop cases by temporarily closing the borders with Denmark where the new strain was detected before Christmas.
Authorities in Spain said on Saturday that four cases had been detected saying that an infected person had flown into Madrid.
Scientists say the new strain, called VUI-202012/01, is causing concern worldwide as they say it could be 70% more infectious than previous variants.
Many countries closed their borders to travelers from the UK after it was first detected in London and the southeast of England with France banning lorry drivers from the UK without a negative COVID-19 test.
Several other countries have now reported the new strain, including Japan, Denmark, Australia, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the Philippines.
The new variant was first detected in England in September but officials started to suspect it was the cause of growing infection rates in London and the south-east in early December.
Around two-thirds of people now testing positive in these areas could have the new variant, the Office for National Statistics estimates.
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