Six passengers who returned to Kerala from the United Kingdom recently have been detected with the new variant genome of SARS-CoV-2, confirmed Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja at a press meeting on Monday evening. She said more people may be infected with the new variant of the virus, as more lab results are awaited. A total of 29 samples were sent for a genome sequencing test from the state, the Health Minister told reporters.
Of the six persons in Kerala, two are from Kozhikode, two from Alappuzha and one each from Kottayam and Kannur. ‚ÄúSince hearing about the new strain of the coronavirus in the UK, we have been putting those who came from the country under surveillance,‚ÄĚ Shailaja told reporters.
She added, ‚ÄúThe first results showed no signs of the new variant. But now six people have shown new strain. These six cases have come from Kozhikode (two in a family), Alappuzha (two in a family) and one each in Kottayam and Kannur. They are isolated and have been kept under observation of the Health Department. Since the chances of spreading are high and the infection rates are higher, I request everyone to show more caution."
As reported earlier, the UK variant is believed to be more infectious than other variants of the novel coronavirus.
Meanwhile, the state reported 3,021 new positive cases and 19 COVID-19-related deaths, pushing the infection count in the state to 7,78,873 and the death toll to 3,160. Out of the total infected on Monday, 52 reached the state from outside, while 2,643 were cases of local transmission and the contact source for infection was not traceable in 284 cases.
Earlier in the day, the Union government had said that a total of 38 people have tested positive for the new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 in India so far. Nine new cases in the country were reported on Friday. With the new six cases from Kerala, the total number stands at 44.