France's Health Ministry said in a statement late on Thursday that France has detected its first cases of contamination with the B.1.617 variant of the novel coronavirus.
The variant is present in India and it has raised alarms after it was identified as a double mutant.
A first case, involving a woman who travelled to India and is living in southwestern France, was confirmed on Thursday, the ministry said.
Two other people who travelled to India were infected with the so-called Indian variant in southeastern France, the ministry also said.
The World Health Organization said earlier in the week that a variant of Covid-19 feared to be contributing to a surge in coronavirus cases in India has been found in over a dozen countries.
India is facing surging new cases and deaths in the pandemic, and fears are rising that the variant could be contributing to the unfolding catastrophe and has contributed to a surge in global cases to 147.7 million.
The virus has now killed more than 3.1 million people worldwide.
The WHO acknowledged that its preliminary modelling based on sequences submitted to GISAID indicates “that B.1.617 has a higher growth rate than other circulating variants in India, suggesting potential increased transmissibility".
At the margin, his could be a risk of news, especially affecting the euro.
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