New Delhi, December 23: At least 20 people who recently returned from the United Kingdom, where a new and more contagious strain of coronavirus has been detected, have tested positive for COVID-19 in India, according to reports. Samples of the 20 who tested positive have been sent to specialised laboratories to determine if the infection is from the mutant coronavirus found in Britain, according to a report. New Coronavirus Strain Not Seen in India So Far, Unlikely to Impact COVID-19 Vaccines' Efficacy, Says Government.
Of the 20 infected UK returnees, eight tested positive for COVID-19 in Amritsar, six in Ahmedabad, five in Delhi, two in Kolkata and one in Chennai. All those who arrived in India from the UK over the two days have been subjected to RT-PCR tests for the coronavirus and made to wait at the airports till the results came in. Authorities are also identifying people who returned from the UK in the past four weeks. No Evidence That New Variant of Coronavirus More Deadly, Says WHO Official.
All flights from and to the UK have been suspended till December 31. The central government on Tuesday said the new strain of coronavirus has not been seen in India so far. The new strain of coronavirus, which is up to 70 percent more transmissible than the original version, has emerged in the UK sparking panic across the world with countries suspending transportation to and from Britain.
According to Health Secretary Matt Hancock, the new variant was "out of control". "The government is alert. There is no need to panic. Do not get yourself tangled in the imaginary situation, talks and panic," India's Health Minister Vardhan said earlier this week.