Number of Indians Infected With UK Covid-19 Strain Rises to 90, Says Health Ministry

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The Central government on Saturday said that a total of 90 persons have been detected with the new 'more transmissible' UK coronavirus mutant strain. They are kept in physical isolation in health facilities.

"Total number of persons infected with the UK mutant strain of Covid-19 now stands at 90 in the country," the Union Health Ministry said in a statement.

According to the ministry, all the 90 persons have been kept in a single room isolation in designated healthcare facilities by the 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 also on," the ministry added.

On Friday, a flight from United States landed in Delhi with 246 passengers on board amid concerns about the mutant strain that emerged in Britain.

The flights from the UK resumed on Friday after the government suspended all the services on December 23.

On December 29, a total of six UK returnees were found to be positive with the new variant genome. These were the first cases to be reported by the country after the United States.

The tracing and testing were initiated after the British government announced that a newly identified strain of the virus was found in their population which is up to 70 per cent more transmissible.

Notably, the new UK Variant has already been reported by Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore.

From November 25 to December 23 midnight, about 33,000 passengers disembarked at various Indian airports from UK. All these passengers are being tracked and subjected by States and UTs to RT-PCR tests.

The Union Health Ministry further stated that 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 labs.