A NEW 'double mutant' strain of coronavirus has been detected in the UK.

It is believed over 500 cases of the variant, that first emerged in India, have been found throughout the country according to the latest Public Health England data.

The strain, known as B.1.617, is of particular concern because it features two mutations in spike proteins, within the same virus.

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One version of the Indian variant, B.1.617.2, is 'highly likely' to be labelled as 'a variant of concern' as it is thought to spread more quickly than the other forms of the variant.

Only a week ago, there were only 202 official cases of the variant.

In a leaked email it showed PHE's ongoing assessment of the variant risk remained 'high'.

This has created concerns that it may be more infectious or less susceptible to vaccines.

So where is the closest case to Witney?

The variant is spreading rapidly in particular in London as well as the North West and the East Midlands, largely linked to travel.

There are several other 'variants of concern' present in England currently, including the variant first detected in Kent, one first detected in South Africa, and one first detected in Brazil.