Mumbai: The Union Health Ministry said five other cases of new COVID-19 strain have been detected in the nation, of which the total number of cases is 25 and all are in physical isolation in health facilities.
Out of the new five cases, four new cases have been found indexed at NIV, Pune and IGIB, Delhi.
This new COVID strain, first discovered in the United Kingdom in September, is said to transmit 70% more than the novel coronavirus virus and trigger a wave of worldwide panic, travel restrictions and border closures.
Earlier on Wednesday, 14 new cases of the new Coronavirus version were reported and all of them have recently returned from the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, India reported six cases of the new virus version and all of them recently returned from the UK. According to an official statement, three samples have been detected at Bengaluru NIMHANS, two at CCMB Hyderabad and one at NIV, Pune, out of all the samples tested.
One of the six UK infected with the new strain is a 47-year-old woman who, after returning to India on 21 December, managed to slip to authorities in New Delhi and reached Andhra Pradesh by train before being picked up. But the state health commissioner insisted that none of his contacts was found to be infected.
Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor, as well as other experts, said that it has not yet been found that the new version increases the severity of the disease.
As it announced the successful completion of a two-day dry-running vaccination exercise in four states, the government also dismissed fears that current vaccines may prove ineffective against the new strain.
“There is no evidence that current vaccines will fail to protect against COVID 19 variants reported from the UK or South Africa. Most vaccines do target the Spike protein, in which there are changes in the variants but vaccines stimulate our immune system to produce a wide range of protective antibodies,” Raghavan said.