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New COVID strain: 13 more UK returnees test positive, total at 71


Thirteen more people have tested positive for the new COVID variant in India, taking the total number of infected people to 71. All the people who tested positive had returned from the UK where the strain was first found.

Media reports quoting the health ministry said as of now, there have been 71 positive cases of the new COVID strain from different designated labs across the country.

On Monday 20 more people, all of them UK-returnees, had tested positive for the new COVID variant.

The new variant spreads faster than the earlier. In all, close to 33,000 passengers from the UK have come to India between November 25 to December 23, 2020. All of them were tested for COVID and their samples were sent to be tested for the new COVID strain.

Health Ministry on new COVID strain

“All these persons have been kept in single-room isolation in designated health care facilities by respective state governments,” the Union health ministry said in a statement Tuesday.

It said close contacts of the returnees have also been put under quarantine.

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“Comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers, family contacts, and others. Genome sequencing on other specimens is going on,” the health ministry said in a statement.

India has suspended air travel from the United Kingdom from December 23 onwards after the latter announced the discovery of a new COVID variant. The new variant is thought to be 70% more transmissible but so far none of the patients in the country have reported severe illness because of the new variant.

India on Tuesday recorded 18,000 new cases and 264 deaths due to COVID. Fatalities due to the disease have crossed the 1.5 lakh mark in India, which accounts for 8% of global deaths and 12% of total cases.

Maharashtra has recorded 33% of total deaths in India, Tamil Nadu 8.11%, Karnataka 8.07%, Delhi 7.07%, and West Bengal 6.56%. This is the fifth consecutive day when new cases are below 20,000.


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