The new coronavirus strain detected in the United Kingdom (UK) is more infectious and spreads rapidly, said All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi, Director, Dr Randeep Guleria on Wednesday.
"COVID-19 has undergone some changes & mutations at various places. Reason of concern with UK strain is that pre-epidemiological data shows it's more infectious & spreads more rapidly as far as disease is concerned," ANI quoted Dr Randeep Guleria as saying.
"Study shows that UK strain is more infectious, therefore it's a matter of concern and lot of things are set in place by the govt in terms of flights from UK, setting of the consortium to really see whether this strain has come to India," he added.
He further said that India is in a very good position as the daily COVID-19 cases have reduced significantly. Also, India's recovery rate is high and the case fatality rate is down.
"In case there is an increase in a number of COVID19 cases (due to UK strain), we'll be able to take action. India is in very good position, our daily new cases have come down, our recovery rate is high and the case fatality rate is down," Guleria added.
Meanwhile, fourteen more people were found infected with the UK strain of the coronavirus on Wednesday in India, taking the total tally to 20 in two days.
A cautious government extended the temporary suspension of passenger flights between the UK and India for a week till January 7 and said the services would resume in a "strictly regulated" manner thereafter.
The Centre had last week directed that about 33,000 passengers who had arrived in India from November 25 to December 23 midnight, will be tracked and subjected to RT-PCR tests along with their contacts by states and UTs, and the positive samples will be sent for genome sequencing.
To detect cases of the new strain, the government has now directed genome sequencing of samples for all passengers who arrived in India from December 9 to 22 and tested positive for COVID-19 or were symptomatic as it ramped up the surveillance and containment strategy.
(With PTI inputs)