A new coronavirus variant has been detected in the UK for the first time.

There have been a reported 77 cases of B.1.617 - an Covid variant first detected in India which is being investigated by Public Health England.

The strain is said to carry mutations that could make it spread faster and partially evade immunity.

The variant is believed to play a part in the now surging outbreak in India where it was first found.

On Wednesday the Asian nation registered more than 198,000 new cases which makes up more than a third of fresh infections registered across the world.

Government sources said the UK is monitoring it 'due to sustained international transmission', Mail Online reports.

This development brings the total number of variants detected in the UK to 56 including the South African strain which is top of the UK's concerns.

A SAGE member, Professor John Edmunds, has warned if the South African variant keeps spreading uncontrollably in London, the city could face local lockdowns.

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