B.1.617 COVID-19 variant first discovered in India now in Middlesex-London

A researcher at Aalborg University screens and analyzes positive Danish COVID-19 tests for the new virus variant, in Aalborg, Denmark, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. (Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix via AP)

The coronavirus variant that first emerged in India has now been detected in Middlesex-London.

The B.1.617 variant was noted on the Middlesex-London Health Unit's daily dashboard update Tuesday, meanwhile there were 11 new variants of concern reported from the U.K.

B.1.617  was first identified in the province last month.

Other provinces, including Alberta and Quebec, have also reported cases of the B.1.617 variant.

The 'double mutant' variant was first discovered in India in March. Researchers said the variant has two mutations in the spike protein that the virus uses to attach itself to cells. They noted that the mutations could help the virus spread more easily and escape the immune system.

The health unit reported 72 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday and  no new deaths.

The region has seen 10,695 total cases, with 9,612 resolved leaving 881 active cases. There have been 202 deaths and 1,631 cases with a variant of concern.

With files from CTV Toronto