UK virus strain in India: 14 more test positive, 20 cases so far

Fourteen more people in India have been detected with the new coronavirus strain. On Tuesday, the government said that six people who returned from the UK have been detected with coronavirus. So far, India has 20 cases of the new coronavirus strain. Meanwhile, the government has increased scrutiny of passengers from the UK. The mutant coronavirus strain that was first detected in the UK is believed to be 70 per cent more infectious.

“From 25th November to 23rd December 2020 midnight, about 33,000 passengers disembarked at various Indian airports from the UK. All these passengers are being tracked and subjected by States/UTs to RT-PCR tests. So far only 114 have been found positive. 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. A total of 6 samples of 6 UK returnee persons have been found to be positive with the new U.K variant genome. 3 in NIMHANS, Bengaluru, 2 in CCMB, Hyderabad and 1 in NIV, Pune,” the government had stated on Tuesday.

All the infected people are now in isolation, the health ministry said in a statement, adding that their fellow travellers and close contacts are being traced and quarantined. Genome sequencing on other samples is currently going on. The presence of the new UK variant has already been reported by Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore, so far.