British strain of COVID detected in India

13:12, 29 December 2020
British strain of COVID detected in India Photo: Amarjeet Kumar Singh/Keystone Press Agency/Global Look Press

Six cases of the more contagious variant of COVID first identified in the UK have been confirmed in India, BBC reports.

The six individuals who returned from the UK are being kept in isolation, officials said.

India joined a list of other countries last week in suspending flights to and from the UK.

The new variant is considerably more transmissible than previous strains but not necessarily any more dangerous, experts say.

With more than 10 million confirmed cases so far, India has the second-highest caseload in the world after the US.

Officials in India have begun contact-tracing close contacts and family members of the six who have tested positive for the new variant.

Passengers arriving from the UK will undergo RT-PCR tests at all airports in the country, an official statement said. The samples found to be positive will then be genome sequenced by government-run labs to detect the new variant.

Around 33,000 passengers arrived in India from the UK over the past month. Of those, 114 were found to be positive for coronavirus - their samples have been sent to ten labs for genome sequencing, according to the statement. reported earlier that Russia suspended air communication with Great Britain.