17:49 GMT27 January 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Alexander Gintsburg, the head of Russia's Gamaleya research institute, expressed the belief on Monday that there is a unique strain of coronavirus in the country, just like in the United Kingdom, but it has not been detected yet.

    "We are looking forward to a unique Russian strain to be detected, as the UK, South Africa and Brazil have their own strains already. Strains are being detected in areas where UK citizens work, and what has the UK got that we have not? Russia is much bigger than the UK, we should have identified a new strain a long time ago," Gintsburg said.

    According to Gintsburg, Russia has not yet detected the new strain, as it sequences significantly fewer virus samples than the UK.

    In December, the UK announced that a new coronavirus strain was detected in the country, adding that the new variant can be up to 70 percent more transmissible than other SARS-CoV-2 variants.

    After the news, many countries suspended travel to and from the UK. There is no evidence that the new strain is more pathogenic.

    COVID-19, coronavirus, Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Alexander Gintsburg, Russia
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