Home / News / India /  New Covid strain in India: 96 people infected with UK variant of virus

Ninety-six people in the country have so far contracted the new strain of Covid-19, which was first detected in the United Kingdom in September, the Health Ministry said on Monday.

"The total number of persons found infected with the mutant UK strain of COVID-19 is 96," the ministry said.

Six of these cases of the mutant strain - believed to be more infectious - are new, the Health Ministry data shows.

Across India, 16,311 fresh cases of coronavirus were reported today in a span of 24 hours, taking the overall tally to 1,04,66,595; 161 deaths took the death toll linked to the infection to 1,51,160. The active Covid-19 caseload, however, is 2,22,526; Also, 1,00,92,909 people have already recovered from the killer virus.

On Sunday, not a single new case of the new strain of SARS-CoV-2 in India was reported. Till Saturday, the number of such people was 90.

After the new strain of coronavirus was detected in Britain, the Central Government had imposed a ban on flights coming to India from the UK with effect from 22 December, 2020. However, the flight operations between India and the UK resumed from 8 January. Passengers will have to undergo an RT-PCR test both in the UK before boarding their flight and after arriving in India.

The Central Government has also reduced the number of flights to Britain from 60 per week to 30 to curtail the faster-spreading mutant strain in the country.

All these people with the new strain were kept in single-room isolation at designated healthcare facilities by the respective state governments, the health ministry had earlier said.

Their close contacts have also been put under quarantine and a comprehensive contact-tracing exercise has been initiated for the co-travellers, family members and others, the ministry said, adding that the genome sequencing of other specimens is going on.

The situation is being monitored and regular advice is being given to the states for enhanced surveillance, containment, testing and dispatch of samples to INSACOG laboratories.

The spike in the number of patients with the new UK virus comes as India waits for the vaccine rollout after Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Pune-based Serum Institute of India's Covishield were cleared for emergency use by the DCGI recently.

At present, the new UK variant of Covid-19 has been reported by several countries, including Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore.

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