Mystery Brit Covid blunder as Govt admits Brazil mutant patient ‘was at home’

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The Government has admitted the 'Patient X' carrier of the mutant Brazilian Covid-19 strain "was at home all along".

Health Secretary Matt Hancock defended Test and Trace after the six person carrying the variant was finally located after a five-day search.

He said: "The best evidence is that this person in question stayed at home, and there's no sign that there's been any onward transmission."

'Patient X' had not provided their contact details after returning to their home in Croydon, south London, from Brazil, so they could not be reached.

The hunt for the mystery patient had been narrowed down to 379 households in the south-east of England before the patient was eventually found after a nationwide search.

He arrived back in the UK but somehow managed to evade health authorities.

The strain has been detected in 25 countries and is thought to be twice as transmissible as other variants.

Public Health England announced on Sunday, February 28 that six cases of the Brazilian mutation had made their way to the UK.

Two of the cases were traced to South Gloucestershire while the other three were narrowed down to Scotland.

One of those in the South Gloucestershire household had flown from Brazil via Zurich to London, arriving on February 10.

All three Scottish cases were identified as people who had flown from Brazil to Aberdeen via Paris and London and had self-isolated for the required 10 days.

Mr Hancock said he is "delighted" the sixth patient has been located. They are thought to have quarantined with their family after a trip to the South American country.

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Dr Susan Hopkins, from Public Health England, said there is going to be increased coronavirus testing in the Croydon area.

Earlier this week, Danny Altmann, a professor of immunology at Imperial College, said that vaccines look “less potent” in light of the new strain.

He told Times Radio: "When I look at the data on how well this variant gets neutralised, it's not that all immunity is gone.

"It's that the vaccines look so much less potent, so there'll be more people who have low antibody responses where it can break through and get affected. It all comes back much harder."

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