Three more people who returned from the UK have tested positive for the mutant strain of coronavirus, taking the total of such cases to ten in Karnataka, state health minister Dr K Sudhakar said on Monday.
He also said 75 people who returned from the UK were yet to be traced and the Home department and the city corporation authorities are trying to locate them.
"Thirty four UK returnees tested positive for Covid-19. Among them, the mutant coronavirus strain was detected in ten persons and all of them are recovering in government hospitals," Sudhakar told reporters.
Meanwhile, as many as eight returnees to Maharashtra were found to be infected with the new coronavirus variant detected in the UK, Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said. Of these, five are from Mumbai, he said, adding contacts of all the Covid-19 patients who have the UK strain are being traced.
Out of 4,000 returnees from the UK, 43 people have tested positive for Covid-19, out of which eight have the new variant," Tope said in a televised message, citing results of their swab samples.
"The protocol to treat them is different and they have been isolated from the other Covid-19 patients," he added.
The new coronavirus variant found in the UK is said to be 70 per cent more infectious than the first one.
"Asymptomatic patients have been advised 14-day strict quarantine while those with compromised immunity such as (people with) diabetes and high blood pressure, among others, have been advised 21 days of quarantine,” said the state health minister.
Meanwhile, Kerala has reported six new cases of the new Covid strain. "Six people who recently returned from the UK have tested positive for the new strain. We have placed them under surveillance. Their samples had been sent to NIV, Pune and results were received today," state health minister K K Shailaja told reporters on Monday.
While two persons each from Alappuzha and Kozhikode have tested positive for the new variant, Kottayam and Kannur districts have reported one case each, she said. The six are under isolation and observation, the minister added.
Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Monday said the Centre has initiated a series of actions to prevent the spread of coronavirus and that it is now taking up the vaccination drive in a big way. Vardhan's remarks came a day after India's drug regulator approved the restricted use of Covid-19 vaccines manufactured by Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech.