The highly contagious UK variant of the coronavirus has been detected in two New York City residents — one of whom recently traveled to the United Kingdom, Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed Wednesday.
Twelve cases of the strain have been identified, and de Blasio said two of those cases involve the Big Apple residents, marking the first known cases in the city.
One of the patients is in Queens, the other Manhattan, a state spokesman later told The Post.
De Blasio noted that the city’s Test and Trace Corps “is engaged” with those two individuals.
The mayor, speaking during his daily City Hall press briefing, again urged the federal government to enact an immediate travel ban from the UK to the US,
“Here’s proof positive,” de Blasio said of the Big Apple cases. “Someone who was in the UK has brought the variant back here [to New York City]. We need that stopped.”
De Blasio continued, “Flights from the United Kingdom should be canceled immediately by the federal government.”
Hizzoner called the new federal requirement for international airline travelers to get a negative COVID-19 test before boarding flights to the US “not good enough.”
In referring to the UK variant of the coronavirus, Jay Varma, de Blasio’s senior adviser for public health, added, “This is a very urgent and real concern.”
In addition to the two Big Apple cases, seven cases have been identified in Saratoga County — which are all connected — and one apiece in Long Island’s Nassau and Suffolk counties, according to state officials.
New York State’s first known case of the UK variant of the coronavirus was detected earlier this month in a 60-year-old Saratoga Springs man.