India detects 14 new cases of mutated COVID-19 strain in UK returnees, putting the tally at 20

India detects 14 new cases of mutated COVID-19 strain in UK returnees, putting the tally at 20
Passengers arriving from the UK in Ahmedabad on December 22BCCL
  • Fourteen new cases of UK COVID-19 strain have been detected in India over the last 24 hours bringing the total tally to 20.
  • Delhi has the highest number of new strain cases with eight samples testing positive, followed by Bengaluru with seven positive cases.
  • The new mutated strain of the COVID-19 virus is pegged to be 70% more transmissible than the classic virus.
Twenty people with the new strain of COVID-19 have been detected in India, with 14 cases emerging in the last 24 hours, according to the India’s Health Ministry.

Samples from Delhi show the highest frequency with eight cases testing positive for the new strain in the national capital, followed by NIMHANS in Bengaluru with seven positive cases.

LabPositive cases for new strain
NCDC, Delhi8
NIMHANS, Bengaluru (Karnataka)7
CCMB, Hyderabad (Telangana)2
NIBG Kalyani (West Bengal)1
NIV, Pune (Maharashtra)1
IGIB, Delhi1

The new strain of COVID-19, which wreaked havoc in the UK, is 70% more transmissible. “The UK variant is more transmissible,” said K Vijayraghavan, the principal scientific advisor to the Indian government. “We must take extraordinary precautions to prevent these kinds of variants from dominating our population.”

However, it’s not a cause for concern as far as vaccines are concerned. “There is no evidence that current vaccines will fail to protect against COVID-19 variants reported from the UK or South Africa,” added Vijayraghavan.

Tracking down people returning to India from the UK has reportedly been challenging for the authorities. Pune, for instance, is yet to trace 109 travellers and Odisha has been given a list of 74 more people who could be possible carriers.

In Andhra Pradesh, the state’s Health and Family Welfare department has been able to trace 1,406 UK returnees out of the 1,423 identified, according to commission K Bhaskar.

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