The newly discovered more contagious Covid-19 variant, VOC 202012/01, lineage B.1.1.7 that was first identified in Britain and Northern Ireland has now spread across 70 countries as of 25 January, WHO stated in its situation update report. The reported cases are either imported or transmitted at community levels. The strain transmits more in comparison to the previously circulating variants and some preliminary evidence suggests for increase in disease severity. Pfizer and Moderna vaccine have shown limited to no significant change against this variant.

The South Africa originated variant 501Y.V2, lineage B.1.351 is now in 31 countries.