South African COVID strain detected in 4 returnees in India, Brazil variant in 1

at 5:54 pm
ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bhargava

New Delhi (NVI): The government has detected four cases of coronavirus with South Africa variant in India in January, while one case of the Brazil variant was detected in the first week of February, ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bhargava said.

Addressing a Health Ministry media briefing, DG ICMR said, “In India, the South African strain of covid-19 has been detected in 4 returnees from South Africa. All travellers and their contacts tested and quarantined.”

He added that ICMR-NIV is attempting to isolate and culture the South African variant of SARS-CoV-2.

DG ICMR further said that a case of Brazil variant of SAS-CoV-2 detected in the first week of February. “Virus strain 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,” he said.

Speaking on the UK variant of the COVID-19, Bhargava said at present we have 187 UK variant patients. All confirmed cases are quarantined and treated.

“Their contacts have been isolated and tested. Neutralisation potential with UK variant of the virus is there with the vaccine that we have,” he added.

At the media briefing, the Health Ministry informed that the country’s trajectory of the coronavirus pandemic is looking promising as the past 7 days has seen only 56 new cases per million population.

“56 new cases per million population reported in the last 7 days in India,” Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said.

He added that the number of vaccine doses administered in India stands at 87,40,595 so far. Active cases are less than 1.40 lakh, while the cumulative positivity rate is 5.27 per cent.

Further, the state of Kerala and Maharashtra with 61,550 and 37,383 active cases respectively account for 72 per cent of the total active cases in the country, the ministry said. “The average daily COVID-19 deaths reported last week was 93,” it added.