At least 10 Chinese nationals on a cargo ship docked at a port in eastern China have been found to be infected with a Covid-19 variant from India, health authorities said on Thursday.
Chinese authorities didn't share details of whether they were infected with the variant of the coronavirus currently prevalent in India.
Health officials in Zhejiang, a coastal province, said 11 cases of "imported" Covid-19 infections, including 10 from India, were reported in the last 24 hours - all among the 20 Chinese crew members of the ship - from Zhoushan port.
There is one asymptomatic Covid-19 case as well, the health authorities said on social media, a state media report said on Thursday.
According to a state media report, the ship Huayang Chaoyang had docked at Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh earlier this year besides stopping over at Chittagong in Bangladesh, Singapore, and Xiamen in China.
The ship had docked at Zhoushan Xinya Shipyard for repairs when the crew were tested and 11 were found to be Covid-19 positive.
It's not clear how the Chinese crew members were infected with an Indian variant of the coronavirus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday said the B.1.617 variant of Covid-19, which is said to be contributing to a surge in cases across India, has been found in 17 countries.
China was not among the countries named.
China's national health commission (NHC) said in a statement on Thursday that all of the 20 new cases reported in the past 24 hours were infections originating from overseas.
A total of 5,644 confirmed imported cases have been reported in the country, the NHC said.
The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed infections, had fallen to 14 from 17 a day earlier.
The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in mainland China now stands at 90,642, while the death toll is 4,636.
While direct commercial passenger flights between India and China have been discontinued for more than a year, Beijing also banned special flights from India in November after several positive Covid-19 cases were detected on one such flight.
The Chinese embassy and consulates in India have effectively stopped issuing visas to Indians. Thousands of Indians, including a large number of students studying in China, have been stranded in their home country for more than a year.