India Reports Cases Of New COVID-19 Strain: Six People Returning From UK Test Positive For Mutant

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In the latest, six people returning from the UK have been found positive for new coronavirus variant in India.  The Union Health Minister has confirmed the news that the three passengers have been tested at NIMHANS Bengaluru, two at Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad and one in Pune’s National institute of Virology.

India has already banned all UK flights till December 31. We were the 10th country to suspend travel to and from United Kingdom. Scientists claim that the new COVID-19 strain is about 70 per cent more infectious than the previous one.  Moreover, the spreading speed has left the world in utter chaos.

All six infected persons have been kept in single-room isolation in designated health care facilities by respective state governments, the ANI reported. “Comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers, family contacts and others. Genome sequencing on other specimens is going on.” A meeting of the National Task Force (NTF) on COVID-19 has already been held on December 26.  They discussed and recommended treatment, surveillance and containment strategy.

The ministry has said, “The situation is under careful watch and regular advice is being provided to the states for enhanced surveillance, containment, testing and dispatch of samples to INSACOG labs.”

The further said that from November 25 to December 23 midnight, close to 33,000 passengers have arrived at various Indian airports from the UK.  As a safety measure, all these travellers are being tracked and subjected by states and UTs to RT-PCR tests.

The minsistry further reported, “So far 114 have been found positive for COVID-19. These positive samples have been sent to 10 INSACOG labs (NIBMG Kolkata, ILS Bhubaneswar, NIV Pune, CCS Pune, CCMB Hyderabad, CDFD Hyderabad, InSTEM Bengaluru, NIMHANS Bengaluru, IGIB Delhi, NCDC Delhi) for genome sequencing.”

The new mutant strain has already been reported South KoreaDenmark, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore.