Six cases of new coronavirus variant found in India

December 30, 2020

India’s Health Ministry has found positive cases of the more infectious strain of the novel coronavirus in six people who returned from Britain in recent weeks. Discovery of the new coronavirus variant in Britain weeks ago has prompted India to suspend all flights from the country. The ban will remain until the end of the December.

However, about 33,000 passengers had flown in prior to the ban: of those arrivals, 114 people were found positive for the coronavirus; their samples were checked for the new variant, which has been detected across parts of Europe and Asia – six cases were since found, the ministry said.

All six patients and their close contacts have been kept in isolation while fellow travellers in the same flight are being tracked down.

India has the second-highest case load in the world with 10.22 million confirmed infections, just after the US. More than 148,150 people have died of COVID-19 in India.

Health authorities expect to start a nationwide vaccination drive early next month, with the Serum Institute of India, which is making the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus shot, expecting its emergency approval within days.

Ministry data also reveals that daily increase in cases fell to a six-month low, or 16,432 new cases, the lowest daily rise since June 25.

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Category: Features, Health alert

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