SA COVID Strain Detected in 4 in India, Brazil Variant in 1: Govt

“All travellers & their contacts (have been) tested and quarantined,” the ICMR DG said on the South Africa variant.

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Four people were detected with the South Africa strain of COVID-19 in India in January this year, while one case of the Brazil variant of SARS-CoV-2 was detected in the first week of February, Balram Bhargava, the Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said on Tuesday, 16 February.

Bhargava, who was speaking at a briefing organised by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said “In India, the South African strain of COVID-19 has been detected in four returnees from South Africa. All travellers and their contacts (have been) tested and quarantined.”

On the Brazil variant, Bhargava said, "The virus strain (was) successfully isolated and cultured at ICMR-NIV-Pune. Experiments to assess vaccine effectiveness are underway. South African and Brazilian variants are different from the UK variant."

187 UK Variant Cases Reported in India

  • Speaking on the UK variant of the virus, the ICMR DG said that a total of 187 people have tested positive for the UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 in India, while adding that all their contacts have been isolated and tested.
  • He also added that vaccines available in India have the potential to neutralise the UK variant of the virus.
  • Bhargava said that RT-PCR tests had been made mandatory for travellers coming in from the United Kingdom.
  • In addition, genome sequencing of positive cases had been done.

Over 87 Lakh Doses Administered

Moreover, during the briefing, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan stated that 87,40,595 COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered in the country till 1 pm on Tuesday. He added that while 85,69,917 had received the first dose, around 1,70,678 had been administered the second dose.

During the briefing, the health secretary also mentioned that the number of active cases in the country stands at about 1.36 lakh, with Kerala and Maharashtra recording the highest and second highest active cases at 61,500 and 37,383 respectively.

Bhushan also mentioned that while about 56 new cases per million population have been reported in the last seven days in India, the average daily COVID-19 deaths reported last week are 93.

(With inputs from ANI.)

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