A number of countries European countries including France, Spain, and Lebanon have confirmed their first cases of the coronavirus variant that prompted global travel restrictions and strict lockdown measures in the United Kingdom.
Denmark, the Netherlands, and Italy have also reported cases in the past few days.
Furthermore, Italian authorities have detected the new COVID-19 strain in a patient in Rome.
Japan also reported five cases in passengers arriving from the UK. Singapore has also confirmed one case of the new variant.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nine cases of the new varient have been detected in Denmark and one each in the Netherlands and Australia.
The French health ministry in a statement said that a French man who arrived in France from the British capital, London, on December 19 had tested positive for the new variant on Friday.
The ministry added that the man, who had been living in the UK, was asymptomatic, and currently self-isolating at home in the central city of Tours.
In Spain, Madrid deputy health chief Antonio Zapatero said the confirmed cases involved three relatives of a man who flew from the UK on Thursday.
The fourth case concerned another man, who had also traveled from the UK.
Mr. Zapatero added none of the patients were seriously ill and there was “no need for alarm”.
Meanwhile in Lebanon, the country’s caretaker health minister said on Friday that a case of the new variant was detected on a flight arriving from London.
More than 50 countries including Pakistan have banned travel from the UK after the British Prime Minister imposed a strict lockdown in London, British PM has warned that the new variant could be up to 70 percent more transmissible.
Recent reports indicate that about 6 in 10 cases reported in London are caused by the new variant.