THE first recorded case of the Brazilian variant of COVID-19 has been announced in the Murcia Region.

Murcia’s Health Minister, Juan Jose Pedreñó, said: “Tests are still being carried so it is too early to say whether this case has been imported or not. Contact tracing of the the person that has contracted the variant is taking place.”

Speaking today(March 22), Pedreño confirmed that 205 positive cases involving the so-called British strain had been detected in Murcia, along with five infections of the South African variant.

The Brazilian strain has been reported in several EU countries and is regarded as perhaps the most contagious variant around and is capable of by-passing immunity that previous coronavirus sufferers may have built up.

“The Brazilian mutation could have double the old COVID contagion rate,” added Pedreño.

No major infection changes have been reported in recent days in Murcia, though Pedreño did say that there had been some ‘slight increases’ in the Cartagena, Lorca, and Murcia City areas.

He added that the government would not hesitate to roll back any recent relaxations if people broke the rules and infections climbed significantly.

The current set of measures, including the regional border closure, are in operation through the Easter period until at least April 9.

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