6 detected with UK, South African strains of coronavirus in West Bengal
At least six persons who landed in Kolkata in the last week of February have tested positive for two international strains of the coronavirus, a top health official has confirmed.
“While five have been detected with the UK strain, one has been detected with the South African strain. All of them are international travellers,” said the official.
All three variants of the coronavirus that have become a global concern have been detected in India, B.1.1.7, first discovered in the UK; B.1.351, which is now dominant in South Africa; and P.1, which has spread in Brazil.
“All samples were collected in the last week of February. The results of the genome sequencing were shared with us on Sunday. Four of the patients are admitted in a state-run hospital in Kolkata,” said the official.
While one case of the UK strain was detected from Kolkata, two each were detected from Nadia and South 24 Parganas district. The South African strain was detected in a patient from Malda in north Bengal.
The Union government had earlier stated that the South African and Brazilian strains can more easily infect a person’s lungs than the UK mutation.
West Bengal has till date registered more than 570,000 Covid-19 cases, of which 3,163 cases are still active. At least 10,278 persons have died so far. The state has vaccinated around 1.55 million people till date.