Men walk past a mural of frontline workers amid the spread of COVID-19 in Mumbai, India. Photo: Reuters/Francis Mascarenhas
Bengaluru: India has detected the coronavirus variants first detected in South Africa and Brazil. People returning from those countries may be tested more aggressively, health officials said on Tuesday.
The variant that originated in South Africa was detected in four people last month and the one from Brazil in one person this month, they said, adding that the strains can more easily infect a person’s lungs than the B.1.1.7 variant that originated in the UK.
The Indian government is now considering mandating RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) tests for all people coming from Brazil and South Africa, as is being done for those flying in from the United Kingdom. India has so far reported 187 cases of infection with the B.1.1.7 variant.
India‘s COVID-19 cases rose by 9,121 in the past 24 hours, taking the total to 10.93 million, second only to the tally of the United States. Deaths rose by 81 to 155,813.
(Reuters – Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar in Bengaluru and Neha Arora in New Delhi; Editing by Nick Macfie)