Peru confirms first case of COVID-19 variant

LIMA, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Peru's Ministry of Health on Friday confirmed the country's first case of the coronavirus variant first identified in the United Kingdom.

At a press conference, Health Minister Pilar Mazzetti said the case involved a Peruvian woman who lives and works in Lima, and has no travel history.

Officials do not have "much information about how the mutation was acquired," but the patient said she attended a family gathering in the days leading up to Christmas, said Mazzetti.

"The family members who were at the reunion were already identified yesterday (Thursday), and so far we have two more people who tested positive" for COVID-19, she said.

The woman infected with the variant has had "mild symptoms" and is quarantining at home, she added.

Given the emergence of the new strain and a rise in COVID-19 cases in the country, Mazzetti urged the public to maintain all measures to avoid infection.

Peru is currently amid a 15-day suspension of commercial flights from Europe, a measure it took to prevent the entry of the coronavirus variant.

According to the latest report from the ministry, the South American country has registered 1,026,690 cases of COVID-19 and 38,049 deaths from the disease.

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