A total of eight passengers who returned from the United Kingdom (UK) in Maharashtra have tested positive for the new mutated strain of COVID-19, said Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Monday. Out of the eight positive patients, five are from Mumbai and one each from Pune, Thane and Mira Bhayandar.
"Eight passengers from Maharashtra who returned from the UK were found to have symptoms of the new coronavirus strain, including five from Mumbai, one each from Pune, Thane and Mira Bhayandar. All of them are in segregation and their contact tracing is underway," tweeted Tope.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray held a meeting on the COVID-19 vaccination drive in the state and regarding the eight UK returnees who have tested positive for the new mutated strain of coronavirus. Thackeray held the meeting with the Health Department and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal and directed them to be more vigilant.
Besides, the total number of people infected in India with the new strain of COVID-19, which was earlier found in the UK, has risen to 38, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Monday. The new strain is said to be 70% more transmissible than the original one.
Of the 38 cases of the mutant strain, 10 have been detected at NIMHANS Bengaluru, three at CCMB Hyderabad, five at NIV Pune, 11 at IGIB Delhi, eight at in NCDC Delhi and one at NCBG Kolkata.
The Centre reiterated that the situation was under "careful watch" and that all those infected with the mutated strain were being kept in isolation in designated healthcare centres by state governments.
The government is also conducting contact tracing for co-travellers from the UK, family members, and others, as well as genome sequencing to identify other specimens of the virus, the ministry said.