The new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 has been found in 13 more people in India, taking the number of persons infected with the new Coronavirus strain in the country to 71, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday.
"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 ministry said in a statement.
The positive samples are being tested at 10 INSACOG labs (NIBMG Kolkata, ILS Bhubaneswar, NIV Pune, NCCS Pune, CCMB Hyderabad, CDFD Hyderabad, InSTEM Bengaluru, NIMHANS Bengaluru, IGIB Delhi and NCDC Delhi) for genome sequencing.
The new mutant UK strain of COVID-19 has already been reported by several countries including Australia, Denmark, Canada, France, Germany, Italy,Japan, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Singapore, the Netherlands and Lebanon.
On Tuesday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson cancelled his visit to India over the coronavirus crisis in the UK. The British PM was to be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade in New Delhi.
Meanwhile, India's COVID-19 caseload surged to 1,03,74,932, including 2,27,546 active cases, 99,97,272 recovered cases and 1,50,114 deaths with 18,088 new cases, 21,314 more recoveries and 264 new fatalities, respectively, according to the Union Health Ministry.