India crossed 100 mark on new and ‘highly contagious’ Covid-19 strain infections on Wednesday to hit 102, the Union Health Ministry said.
The number of people infected by this strain of coronavirus was 96 as of January 11.
On Wednesday, the ministry said, “The total number of persons found to be positive with the new UK variant genome stands at 102 today.”
Many of these persons were kept in single-room isolation by the respective state governments in designated healthcare facilities. Their close associates have also been placed in quarantine, and for co-travellers, family contacts and others, extensive contact tracing has been started.
Genome sequencing on other specimens is taking place, the Ministry said, adding the situation is under careful monitoring and frequent advice is being given to states for enhanced surveillance, containment, testing and shipment of samples to INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium) laboratories, the Ministry said.
After the new strain of coronavirus was detected in Britain, with effect from 22 December 2020, the Central Government placed a ban on flights arriving from the UK to India.
However, on 8 January, flight operations between India and the United Kingdom resumed. Before boarding their flight and after landing in India, passengers will have to undergo an RT-PCR test, both in the UK.
To curb the faster-spreading mutant strain in the world, the Central Government has also reduced the number of flights to Britain from 60 per week to 30.
Several countries, including Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore, have already announced the existence of the new UK version.
Meanwhile, India has added 15,968 new cases to its COVID-19 count in the last 24 hours, with a total of 1,04,95,147 cases registered by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Union on Wednesday.
With 17,817 more discharges, the gross recoveries amounted to 1,01,29,111. As many as 202 deaths have also been reported in the last 24 hours, raising the death toll to 1,51,529.