New Delhi: India has recorded 14 fresh cases of new coronavirus mutant strain first reported in the United Kingdom in September, taking the total number of cases to 20, news agency PTI reported.
On Tuesday, six people — three from Karnataka and one each from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh — who returned from the UK were found to be carrying the new variant.
Around 33,000 passengers had landed in various Indian airports from the UK between November 25 and December 23, when flights to and from that country were stopped, reports said.
“All these passengers are being tracked and subjected by states to RT-PCR tests. So far, only 114 have been found positive [for all variants of the virus],” India’s Civil Aviation Ministry said.
The ministry said the mutated UK strain was detected in eight samples at the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), one at the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG), Kalyani (near Kolkata), one at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) Pune, seven at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences Hospital (NIMHANS) Bengaluru, two at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad and one at the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), Delhi.
“All these persons have been kept in single-room isolation in designated health care facilities by respective state governments. Their close contacts have also been put under quarantine. Comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers, family contacts, and others. Genome sequencing on other specimens is going on,” the Health Ministry said.
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.