Possible COVID-19 variant case in Martinique

Health authorities in Martinique are investigating a case in which a returned national may have contracted a variant of COVID-19 overseas.

Pneumonia coronavirus

The Regional Health Agency (ARS) said in a statement on Thursday that the suspected patient, who travelled during the holiday season, presented with COVID-19 signs on his return to the French-speaking island.

The ARS said it had carried out contact tracing and eight contacts were placed in isolation.

“None of the contacts has so far presented any sign suggestive of COVID-19 and the first tests carried out are negative,” it added.

The UK strain is more easily spread from person to person than previous strains. It is estimated to be 50 per cent more transmissible.