COVID-19: South Africa strain found in 4 returnees, Brazil variant in 1, says Health Ministry

The Union Governmemnt today said that a few cases of the more infectious South African and Brazilian strains of the coronavirus have been detected in India and all are travelers. "In India, the South African strain of covid-19 has been detected in 4 returnees from South Africa. All travellers and their contacts tested and quarantined," said Dr. Balram Bhargava, DG ICMR. ICMR-NIV is attempting to isolate and culture the South African variant of SARS-CoV-2.

Dr. Bhargava further told, "a case of Brazil variant of SAS-CoV-2 detected in the first week of Feb. Virus strain successfully isolated and cultured at ICMR-NIV-Pune. Experiments to assess vaccine effectiveness are underway. South African and Brazilian variants are different from the UK variant."

"Today we have 187 UK variant patients. All confirmed cases are quarantined and treated. Their contacts have been isolated and tested. Neutralisation potential with UK variant of the virus is there with the vaccine that we have" he revealed in a press conference.

While Dr VK Paul, Member (Health) Niti Aayog said that, "24 countries have been sent COVID19 vaccine from India so far."

According to the Health Ministry, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Jharkhand, Mizoram, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Tripura & Bihar. Chhattisgarh, MP, Uttarakhand, Lakshwadeep, Tripura administered the first doses of vaccine to more than 70 percent of the registered healthcare workers. It also said, "Ladakh, Jharkhand, Assam, UP, Telangana, Tripura, Gujarat and Goa have administered the second dose to more than 60% of the eligible healthcare workers."

Commenting on the vaccination the ministry said, "the number of vaccine doses administered stand at 87,40,595 whileaActive cases less than 1.40 lakh. The Cumulative positivity rate is 5.27 percent."

As per the ministry's data, Kerala and Maharashtra with 61,550 and 37,383 active cases respectively account for 72 percent of the total active cases in the country.

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