India has seen 29 cases of the new coronavirus variant, that is spreading rapidly around Britain and other countries, within five days of tracing its first such infection. The new United Kingdom variant genome of Sars-CoV-2 – B.1.1.7, which is much more infectious, has prompted comprehensive contact tracing for co-travellers, family members and others of those who have travelled to the UK in the last 38 days.
From November 25 to December 23, 2020, midnight, about 33,000 passengers disembarked at various Indian airports from the UK. All these passengers are being tracked and subjected by states to RT-PCR tests to detect Covid-19.
Countries like Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore have also reported the cases of the new variant so far.
Here is a timeline of tracing Covid-19 cases of the new variant in the country:
Tuesday: India reports its first six cases of the UK Covid-19 variant
India on Tuesday recorded the first six cases of the UK variant of coronavirus among travellers who returned from Britain, prompting the government to enforce stricter precautions and speed up contact tracing for co-passengers.
The new UK variant genome was detected in three samples in the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences Hospital (NIMHANS) Bengaluru, two in the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad and one in the National Institute of Virology (NIV) Pune, the health ministry said.
Wednesday: India detects 14 more cases of the UK Covid-19 variant
Fourteen more people tested positive for a hyper-infectious, mutant strain of the coronavirus in India, the Union health ministry said on Wednesday, taking the tally of such cases in the country to 20.
Four of the new patients were from Delhi, officials in the Capital confirmed.
Of the 14 new cases on Wednesday, eight were detected at the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in Delhi, four at NIMHANS in Bengaluru, and one each at the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) in Delhi and the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBG) in West Bengal's Kalyani.
Thursday: Five more cases of the infectious virus push India's count to 25
India on Thursday recorded five new cases of mutated coronavirus disease pushing the total cases count to 25, the health ministry said.
Out of the five fresh cases, four have been traced by National Institute of Virology in Pune and CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in Delhi. The infected individuals have been kept in physical isolation at state health facilities.
"A total of 25 cases of mutant United Kingdom virus detected in India after genome sequencing. Four new cases found by NIV, Pune and one new case sequenced in IGIB, Delhi. All 25 persons are in physical isolation at health facilities," health ministry said.
Friday: 4 more test positive of Covid-19 UK strain in India, tally reaches 29
A total of 29 people in the country have now tested positive for the new UK variant of Covid-19, with four added to the list on Friday, the Union health ministry has said.