5 new COVID-19 cases of mutant coronavirus strain in India, total 25 cases so far: Health Ministry
All 25 persons who have been infected with the new variant of the coronavirus are in physical isolation at designated health facilities, according to the health ministry said.
December 31, 2020 / 12:08 PM IST
The number of COVID-19 patients infected because of the new strain of the novel coronavirus increased to 25 on December 31, according to the Union Health Ministry. Genome sequencing of five more patient test samples showed that they had been infected by the new variant of SARS-Cov-2, which causes COVID-19.
Four of these new COVID-19 cases were found by the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune and one was sequenced at the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in New Delhi.
All 25 persons remain in physical isolation at designated health facilities, the health ministry said.
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There is growing concern over the new strain first reported in the United Kingdom as it is believed to be spreading faster than the previous mutations. Scientists in the UK had said that this variant of the virus is about 70 percent more infectious even though it may not necessarily cause more severe illness. The spread of the variant in the UK had led several countries, including India, to suspend scheduled flights to and from the UK.
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Test samples of all passengers coming from overseas, who have either tested positive for COVID-19 or are symptomatic, are being sent for genome sequencing as a standard procedure.Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic