Coronavirus variant first found in UK detected in Poland


WARSAW, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- Poland has detected a case of a more contagious variant of coronavirus that was first discovered in Britain, the country's Health Ministry confirmed on Thursday.

The variant was detected in a COVID-19 patient in the southern Lesser Poland province, a ministry spokesperson told Polish Press Agency (PAP).

Since the start of the pandemic, 1,457,755 people in Poland have been diagnosed with COVID-19, which cost 34,561 lives. Meanwhile, 591,785 people, mainly health workers, have been vaccinated, according to the Health Ministry.

Also on Thursday, the PAP quoted Health Minister Adam Niedzielski as saying that he reckons 2.5 million Poles will be vaccinated by the end of the first quarter, down from 3 million at the start of the Pfizer vaccine distribution due to a Europe-wide slowdown in deliveries.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in some countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 237 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide -- 64 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by WHO on Jan. 15.

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