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Bengaluru: At a time when Karnataka is heaving a sigh of relief with declining cases of coronavirus, three people who returned from the United Kingdom have been found to be infected by the new coronavirus variant which is reported to be more infectious.

All the three are residents of Bengaluru, and out of them two are a woman and her child, confirmed Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar. He said the primary and secondary contacts of these patients are being traced and tested.

More samples are being tested to ascertain if other people who had returned from the UK are carrying the mutated version of the virus.

So far 26 people have returned to Karnataka from the UK in the past month and have tested positive for the virus but it was not established yet if they carried the variant. As a precautionary measure, all these patients have been kept in government hospitals.

Some passengers on the flights from the UK have not been tested yet as they have apparently switched off their mobile phones and have remained untraceable, the Health Minister said. The department will take legal action against these people if they don’t cooperate with the government authorities, he added.

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