UK mutant variant cases increase to 20, eight in Delhi. On Tuesday, samples of six UK-returnees were found to be positive for the new variant genome.
“A total of six samples of six UK returnee persons have been found to be positive with the new UK variant genome. Three in NIMHANS, Bengaluru, two in CCMB, Hyderabad and one in NIV, Pune. All these persons have been kept in single room isolation in designated Healthcare facilities by the respective state governments. Their close contacts have also been put under quarantine,” the health ministry had said in a detailed statement.
Last week, the UK government said that a new variant of the virus was detected in that country. Prime Minister Boris Johnson also made an appeal for a subdued festive season in light of the new potent variant. The ministry further said that comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers, family contacts and others who may have come in contact with the individuals.
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“Genome sequencing on other specimens is going on. 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 the INSACOG labs,” the health ministry said.
Taking cognizance of the mutant variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus, India suspended all flights coming from the UK with effect from the midnight of December 23 till 31. The new variant is reportedly more transmissible than previously circulating variants. The Health Ministry, however, maintained that there was no need to panic as there is ‘no evidence’ that vaccines will fail against the new strain.