Four individuals, who returned from the United Kingdown to Karnataka recently, have been found to be infected with the mutated strain of coronavirus, state Health and Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar said on Wednesday. Karnataka now has a total of seven patients infected with the new Covid-19 strain.
According to the minister, the four patients travelled to Shivamogga district and have seven contacts — three of them testing positive for Covid-19. “All of them are under quarantine and we will send their samples for genetic sequencing,” Sudhakar said.
On Tuesday, three UK returnees to Bengaluru tested positive for the new UK variant genome of Sars-Cov-2 virus, according to the initial results of genome sequencing released by the Indian Sars-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (Insacog) labs.
In Bengaluru cases, two are from one family in Rajajinagar and another from R R Nagar. According to the Karnataka Health Department, all their primary and secondary contacts have been traced and tested negative for Covid.
An apartment in Vasanthpura ward in Rajajinagar has been sealed by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) after two residents, a 35-year-old woman and her six-year-old daughter, were tested positive for the new variant of the coronavirus.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, BBMP Special Commissioner (Health) Rajendra Cholan said “we have sealed down the apartment as per the Standard Operating Procedures issued by the MHA, all the primary contacts have to be admitted in an institutional quarantine facility and monitored. The residents of the apartment are under home quarantine and we have put the SOPs of the quarantine facility in the apartment complex.”
The Karnataka government has roped in the Bengaluru police, the BBMP and the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) to trace those UK returnees who have not yet reported for Covid testing.
The Karnataka health department had sent the swab samples of 26 people who tested positive for Covid-19 to National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro- Sciences(NIMHANS) to ascertain whether it is a new strain and seven of them are found to have the mutated strain of coronavirus.
As many as 1,614 passengers who arrived in Karnataka from the UK recently have undergone RT-PCR tests. Of these, 26 tested positive. “All seven people who have contracted the UK variant of Covid-19 have been admitted to designated hospitals,” Sudhakar added.
Forty six primary contacts of the seven people have been quarantined and tested for Covid-19.
India has so far detected 20 cases of the mutant coronavirus that was first discovered in the UK, which is said to be more infectious than the one that first caused the Covid-19 pandemic.
Last week, India announced the suspension of flights from and to UK until the end of the year. The Civil Aviation Ministry took the decision on the basis of a recommendation by the Health Ministry, which noted that the new UK strain of the novel coronavirus is “spreading and growing rapidly”.
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