The Union Health Ministry declared that 38 people have tested positive with the new UK variant genome of coronavirus in India, according to a press release statement on Monday, 4 January.
The people who tested positive have been isolated and the ‘comprehensive contact tracing’ for co-travellers and family members has started. “All these people have been kept in single room isolation in designated healthcare facilities by respective state governments. Their close contacts have also been put under quarantine,” the ministry said.
“The situation is under careful watch and regular advice is being provided to the states for enhanced surveillance, containment, testing and dispatch of samples to INSACOG labs,” said the ministry.
So far, there are ten cases in Bengaluru, three in Hyderabad, five in Pune, nineteen in Delhi and one in Kolkata.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray held a meeting on Monday to discuss the preparation of the state on COVID-19 vaccinations after eight passengers from the UK tested positive for the new coronavirus strain reported ANI.
“Five of them are from Mumbai and one each from Pune, Thane and Mira Bhayander. Contact tracing is underway,” said Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope to ANI.
Two Vaccines Given Approval For Emergency Use
On Sunday, 3 January, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) granted permission to Bharat Biotech’s indigenous COVID vaccine ‘Covaxin’ and Oxford-AstraZeneca’s ‘Covishield’ vaccine for restricted use in emergency situation.
The central government plans to vaccinate nearly 30 crore people in the first phase of the drive in the next six to eight months.
“Two vaccines authorised for emergency use in India have been developed at record-breaking speed as a result of their (scientists’) untiring efforts,” said Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health.
India on Monday, 4 January, reported 16,504 new coronavirus cases, taking the tally in the country to 1,03,40,469. The death toll increased by 214 to 1,49,649.
According to the Union Health Ministry data, there are currently 2,43,953 active cases across the country, while 99,46,867 patients have been discharged. A total of 19,557 people have been discharged in the last 24 hours.