In Brazil, traveller diagnosed with Covid-19 variant found in India
A traveler arriving in Brazil has been diagnosed with the B.1.617.2 coronavirus strain from India, Sao Paulo health officials said on Wednesday, adding to concerns about the new strain fueling one of the world's deadliest outbreaks.
Brazil has lost more than 450,000 lives to COVID-19, the worst death toll outside the United States, and has struggled to contain transmission of homegrown variants or to accelerate a sputtering vaccination campaign.
Following the treatment of crew members who contracted the B.1.617.2 variant on a cargo ship on Brazil's northern coast last week, the case confirmed on Wednesday raised alarms about the new variant passing through two of the country's busiest airports.
The 32-year-old patient, a resident of Campos dos Goytacazes in Rio de Janeiro state, landed at Guarulhos International Airport near Sao Paulo on May 22, state officials said.
The passenger was tested for COVID-19 by federal health agency Anvisa, but by the time Sao Paulo authorities were informed of the positive result, he had flown onward to Rio de Janeiro, according to a statement from state officials.
Sao Paulo's Adolfo Lutz Institute received the test material and announced the result of the sequencing on Wednesday.
Sao Paulo health authorities said they requested a complete list of the passengers on the flight coming from India, as well as the names of all airport staff and other people who may have had contact with the passenger, for monitoring and isolation.