South African variant bigger risk than UK variant - UK's Hancock

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: A health worker holds a COVID-19 sample collection kit of a vaccine trials' volunteer at the Wits RHI Shandukani Research Centre in Johannesburg

LONDON (Reuters) - The new variant of the COVID-19 virus identified in South Africa is even more of a risk than the highly infectious UK variant, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Monday, adding that it was a "very significant problem".

"I'm incredibly worried about the South African variant, and that's why we took the action that we did to restrict all flights from South Africa," he told BBC radio.

"This is a very, very significant problem (...) and it's even more of a problem than the UK new variant."

(Reporting by Kate Holton, writing by Paul Sandle, editing by Estelle Shirbon)