Six people who returned from the UK are found to have mutant of SARS-CoV2 virus which is nearly 70 per cent more contagious than the prevailing strains in genomic analysis, an official statement from Health Ministry said on Tuesday.
Between November 25 and December 23, around 33,000 passengers arrived in India from the UK and 114 were found Covid positive. These samples were sent to 10 designated labs located in different parts of the country and six of them found to have the UK variant, the statement said.
Among those, three were tested at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences in Bengaluru, two at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad and one at the National Institute of Virology, Pune.
The government has temporarily suspended all flights from the UK till December 31. The RT-PCR test has been made compulsory for those arrived.
The presence of the new UK variant already reported in Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore, so far.