New mutant strain of COVID-19 has entered India via six UK returnees
- India has detected its first six cases of the new COVID-19 strain, with three in Bengaluru, two in Hyderabad and one in Pune.
- All the individuals, and their close contacts, have been placed under quarantine by the respective states.
- In addition to India and the UK, the new strain has also been reported in 13 other countries around the world.
AdvertisementIndia has detected its first six cases of the new COVID-19 strain in people who have returned to the country from the UK. According to the British government, the new strain is 70% more contagious than its predecessor.
The results come after the Indian Health Ministry issued a detailed action plan for the Genomic Surveillance Consortium to scan for the new variant of the virus in UK returnees who tested positive for COVID-19.
Genome sequencing results:
|NIMHANS, Bengaluru (Karnataka)||3|
|CCMB, Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh)||2|
|NIV, Pune (Maharashtra)||1|
The affected individuals have been kept in ‘single room isolation’ by the respective states where they have tested positive.
All of their close contacts have also been placed under quarantine. “Comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers, family contacts and others. Genome sequencing on other specimens is going on,” said the India SAR-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) Labs in a statement.
Before India suspended flights from the UK to India, the government estimates that around 33,000 passengers entered India between November 25 to December 23. So far, only 114 people have tested positive for COVID-19.
In addition to India, the new strain has also been reported in Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore so far.
In the UK, there has been a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in South East England, leading to enhanced epidemiological and virological investigations. Analysis of viral genome sequence data identified that a large proportion of cases belonged to a new single phylogenetic cluster.
(With IANS inputs)
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