West Bengal reports first case of new Covid-19 strain

West Bengal reports first case of mutated Covid-19 strain

The new strain was detected in a man who returned to Kolkata from London ten days ago

Credit: AFP/Representative Images

West Bengal reported its first case of a mutated Covid-19 detected in a person who returned to Kolkata from London 10 days ago, State Health Department officials said on Wednesday.

Officials revealed that the patient is the son of a Calcutta Medical College and Hospital official, who tested positive for a mutated strain called VUI-202012/01. This mutation is believed to be more contagious than other strains of the virus.

He tested positive at the airport and was sent into isolation after the test.

“He is undergoing treatment at a government-run hospital and is currently in stable condition. Those who have come into contact with him have to isolate themselves,” the health department official said.

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His samples had been sent for genetic analysis as per the protocol set up by the Centre since he had returned from the UK. According to officials, the report had been sent to the National Centre for Disease Control in Delhi.

“Six people who came into contact tested negative for the infection,” the Health Department official said. So far 20 cases of the mutated Covid-19 strain had been detected in the country.

The Health Department was preparing a list of passengers who were traveling in the same flight with the youth. “We are also trying to trace the crew and others in the flight who came in contact with the youth and inquire about their health condition,” a Health Department official said.

At least 40 countries including India had imposed travel bans to and from the United Kingdom in view of the mutant Covid-19 strain since it was first detected on September 21.