Bulgaria confirms first cases of new coronavirus variant

SOFIA, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- The new variant of coronavirus first identified in Britain was confirmed in Bulgaria, an official said here on Friday evening.

The new strain was genetically proven in eight patients earlier on Friday, Todor Kantardjiev, director of the National Center of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, said in an interview with the Bulgarian National Television.

Among the eight, there are those who have just come from Britain. They immediately fell ill, and were immediately quarantined and hospitalized, said Kantardjiev.

Bulgaria should contain the spread of the new strain because it is more contagious, he said.

A total of 213,864 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Bulgaria so far, and the country's death toll stood at 8,741. Meanwhile, vaccination is underway in the Balkan country, where 25,251 people have already received COVID-19 vaccines.

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