The tally of people infected with the new strain of coronavirus first detected in the UK is on the rise in India. Five fresh cases of the new strain of coronavirus have been detected in India. Following the surge, the total tally of people who returned from the UK and were found infected with the new strain has gone up to 25.
The development has raised the concern of the Union government, especially when the daily surge in COVID-19 cases has declined to around 20,000 as compared to over 95,000 cases a day a few months back. The concern also stems from the fact that there is no clarity on whether the existing vaccines that have been developed and those under development will be effective on the new
Five fresh cases of mutated strain of coronavirus
Out of the five cases, four cases were found by the Pune-based National Institute of Virology and one of the cases was detected by Delhi-based Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, according to the Union health ministry. All the infected cases have been kept in isolation at designated health facilities.
While there is no clarity on whether the mutated strain of the virus causes more severe illness or not, it is highly transmissible than the other strains of the coronavirus. Taking no chance, the government has started a huge genome sequencing project involving 10 laboratories across the country.
Notably, the samples of 144 people of the 33,000 passengers, who tested positive for coronavirus on their return from the UK, are being tested by these laboratories for the mutated strain.
Presence of the mutated UK strain in several countries
It is important to note that the presence of the new UK variant has already been reported by Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore, so far, the ministry said.
Notably, after the new mutated strain of the virus came to the fore, several countries have banned flight operations to and from the UK, whereas many countries have made COVID-19 test reports mandatory for passengers. India has banned flight to and from the UK till January 7.
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