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New French coronavirus variant appears to bypass standard tests
Eight people were identified in Lannion as carriers of the strain in a cluster of 79 cases.
The WHO confirmed it was investigating a new Covid-19 variant sweeping through north-west France due to its apparent ability to evade detection and provide false results in patients.
The variant, first spotted in Brittany, “doesn’t suggest either increased severity or increased transmissibility” but there are indications it is harder to confirm in patients.
The formation of new variants is a natural process as viruses evolve over time in order to survive. At present, only three variants of the novel coronavirus are considered alarming: the so-called British, South African and Brazilian variants.
France's government has resisted calls for a new lockdown in the face of rising cases, with daily infections hovering well above the 20,000-mark.