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Mutated Covid-19 strain found in Japan and Brazil 'cause for concern'

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 22/01/2021 Olivia Day For Daily Mail Australia
a group of people sitting in a chair talking on a cell phone: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

One of Australia's top doctors has confirmed the government is keeping a close eye on a third variant of Covid-19.  

Deputy chief medical officer, Professor Michael Kidd said the new strain had mutated in Japan and Brazil and it shared similar characteristics to the strain identified in South Africa and England. 

While the third variant doesn't cause more disease, the strain is said to bring a higher risk of fast transmission which in turn can trigger more severe cases and fatalities. 

a group of people standing in front of a building: The third variant was first detected in the genomes of four international travelers in Japan who had arrived on a flight from South America © Provided by Daily Mail The third variant was first detected in the genomes of four international travelers in Japan who had arrived on a flight from South America

The variant was first detected in four international travelers who tested positive for Covid-19 when they arrived in Tokyo on a flight from South America. 

Japan's National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) said they would continue to investigate the genetic make-up of the strain, with the Professor Kidd saying the strain 'was cause for concern'. 

For people diagnosed with the new variant, Professor Kidd announced that isolation requirements have been modified due to the infectious nature of the strain.    

'As a consequence we have increased the isolation requirements for people who are diagnosed with this new variant, from 10 days to 14 days before they get potential release from isolation'.     

It has been confirmed that Australia has access to 140 million doses of the vaccine.  

Health Minister Greg Hunt has said that Australia has one of the highest rates of doses per person in the world, enough to vaccinate the population three times over. 

a person wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: Deputy chief medical officer, Professor Michael Kidd announced that isolation requirements would be extended for those diagnosed with the third strain, due to its infectious nature © Provided by Daily Mail Deputy chief medical officer, Professor Michael Kidd announced that isolation requirements would be extended for those diagnosed with the third strain, due to its infectious nature a man sitting in front of a fence: Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently said Australia had 'beaten the third wave' of Covid-19, however top doctors say mutated strain is 'cause for concern' and will be monitored closely © Provided by Daily Mail Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently said Australia had 'beaten the third wave' of Covid-19, however top doctors say mutated strain is 'cause for concern' and will be monitored closely

It was recently announced that it will not be mandatory for aged-care workers to get the vaccine to go to work.  

However, Professor Kidd has said it will be 'strongly encouraged' for all workers and residents of aged-care facilities to get the vaccine.  

Aged care workers and residents will be prioritised to receive the first doses of the Pfizer campaign which is set to roll-out in the coming weeks.  

Mr Morrison has emphasised the importance of safety during the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccination. 

'We're not rushing this, nor are we delaying it. We're getting it right. That's what matters. We're getting it right'. 

a group of people sitting on a bench: The third strain was also detected in Brazil where 7.8 million Covid-19 cases have been recorded since the start of the pandemic © Provided by Daily Mail The third strain was also detected in Brazil where 7.8 million Covid-19 cases have been recorded since the start of the pandemic Read more

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