Thailand detects first domestic cases of UK coronavirus variant - expert

FILE PHOTO: People are seen at an empty beach in Phuket

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand has detected 24 cases of the coronavirus variant B.1.1.7 first detected in Britain, a virologist said on Wednesday, its first reported domestic transmission of the highly contagious variant.

"This variant is very viral and can spread 1.7 times faster than the usual strain," Yong Poovorawan, a senior virologist from Chulalongkorn University told a health ministry briefing.

(Reporting by Reuters Staff; Writing by Martin Petty)