ROME 

Italy registered on Wednesday a second case of a new strain of coronavirus near the central town of Ancona, but the patient had no direct contact with the UK, where the variant first emerged.

Local daily Il Corriere Adriatico said the case had been identified by a laboratory at Riuniti hospital, and the infected person is now in isolation at home with his family.

The person underwent a molecular swab test in the past few days because of a strong cold.

“In the meanwhile, we have started other exams and now we know that it is the British strain,” laboratory director Stefano Menzo told Italian news agency ANSA.

Italy had already detected the new COVID-19 strain on Sunday in a person who recently arrived from the UK. The patient landed at Rome’s Fiumicino airport, and is now in quarantine.

Several European countries, including Italy, have banned flights to and from the UK after the country announced that a more contagious strain of the novel virus is spreading in southern England.

Italy’s death toll has reached 69,842, while 1.97 million people have been infected with the virus, according to the Health Ministry.

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