Mumbai: One person in India was found to be infected with the Brazil variant of coronavirus in the first week of February, ICMR Director-General Dr Balram Bhargava said on Tuesday.
However, all travellers and their contacts have been tested and quarantined.
In India, the South African strain of COVID19 has been detected in 4 returns from South Africa. All passengers and their contacts were tested and quarantined,” said Dr Balaram Bhargava, DG ICMR.
He said that ICMR-NIV is trying to isolate and promote the South African version of SARS-CoV-2, while the Brazilian version of SAS-CoV-2 is isolated and cultured in ICMR-NIV-Pune.
The ICMR said that there are currently 187 patients in India who are infected with the UK version of the COVID-19 virus. However, there have been no deaths among people infected with the UK variant.
The Ministry of Health said that the Center has made RT-PCR testing mandatory for travellers coming from the UK. “Those who tested positive, their genome sequencing is being done. This is a good strategy. I hope we can follow such a strategy for flights from South Africa and Brazil,” said Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Ministry of Health.
He also said that flights from South Africa and Brazil to India go through the Gulf countries, not direct to India. The Ministry of Civil Aviation is looking into it, he said.
Earlier in the day, the Health Ministry said that 17 states and union territories have not reported any COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, while six of them did not register any new cases during this period.
This recovery has increased to 1,06,33,025 with 11,805 more patients per day, and India has the highest recovery rate in the world at 97.32 per cent, it said in its update of cases till 8 pm.
The difference between recovered and active cases has increased to 1,04,96,153, the ministry underlined.