"All these persons have been kept in single-room isolation in designated healthcare facilities by the respective state governments. Their close contacts have also been put in quarantine. Comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers, family contacts and others. Genome sequencing on other specimens is going on," the Health Ministry said.
Of these total cases, eight have been registered at the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), 11 at CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), (both in Delhi), and 10 at National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS) in Bengaluru.
Three such cases have been detected at Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad, one at National Institute of Biomedical Genomics in West Bengal, and 25 at National Institute of Virology, Pune.
On December 29, six UK returnees were found positive for the new coronavirus variant. These were the first cases to be reported in India, which has the second highest number of coronavirus cases after the United States.
The tracing and testing was initiated after the British government announced that a newly identified strain of the virus was found in the UK population, which is up to 70 per cent more transmissible.
Notably, the UK strain has already been reported by Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore.
The Ministry said that it is monitoring the situation closely and giving regular advice to the states for enhanced surveillance, containment, testing and dispatch of samples to labs.
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