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Two risk clusters of the mutant coronavirus variant sweeping Britain have been detected in France, the health ministry said on Thursday.

The UK last month sounded the alarm over the variant, which experts say is much more contagious than the original coronavirus.

The clusters were located in the western French region of Brittany, and in the Paris region, the ministry said in a statement.

A total of 19 cases of infections with the variant have been confirmed in France, as well as three cases of people infected with a different new strain which was first detected in South Africa, it said.

France on Wednesday recorded 25,379 new virus infections in the previous 24 hours, up from 20,489 the day before.

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