New Delhi, Jan 11 (IANS) The central government on Monday said that a total of 96 persons have been detected with the new 'more transmissible' UK coronavirus mutant strain. They are kept in physical isolation in health facilities.
"The total number of persons found infected with the mutant UK strain of COVID-19 is 96," the Union Health Ministry said in a statement.
According the Health Ministry, all 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.
Since last Friday, flights from UK have been landing in Delhi amid concerns about the mutant strain that emerged in Britain. The flights from UK resumed after the government suspended services between 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 that has the second highest number of cases after the United States.
The tracing and testing was initiated after UK 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.
The union health ministry has further assured 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.