A 33-year-old man, admitted at the LNJP hospital, became the first confirmed case of South African COVID-19 variant in Delhi. He was admitted to the hospital about a week ago and has been kept in isolation at a separate unit.
He was asymptomatic initially, but nothing is known about his present condition as of now. "He is kept in a very different isolation area and was brought here about a week ago and then tested. He came positive for the South Africa variant," a source told PTI.
LNJP Hospital has not only reported the first confirmed case of the South African strain of the novel coronavirus, but it also admitted people who tested positive for the UK strain of coronavirus and two such patients stayed at the hospital till February end after their treatment.
The Centre said India had reported four cases of the South African variant of SARS-CoV-2 and one case of the Brazil variant a month ago.
According to ICMR director Dr. Balram Bhargava, the South African strain was detected in four people who returned from abroad-one from Angola, one from Tanzania and two from South Africa in January. Dr. Bhargava also mentioned that all travellers and contacts had been tested and quarantined.
Union Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that three new variants of COVID-19-- Brazil, the UK and South Africa, have been reported so far in India.
Citing the World Health Organisation (WHO), Choubey said that the South African and Brazilian variants do have the potential to reinfect people who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 earlier.
He also stated that these variants were driving the pandemic in their countries of origin. The Union Minister added the Centre has revised its guidelines for international travel to minimise the spread of these mutant variants in India. No case of reinfection by mutant variants has been reported from India so far, the minister said.
With PTI inputs
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