GUWAHATI: 20 more cases of the new strain of coronavirus reported from the United Kingdom (UK) have been detected in India, taking the total such cases in the country to 58 so far.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry in a briefing on January 5 stated that the indigenous vaccine will be rolled out within the next 10 days.
Notably, of these total cases, 8 have been registered at the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), 11 at CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), (both in Delhi), and 10 at National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS) in Bengaluru.
Further, three such cases have been detected at Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad, one at National Institute of Biomedical Genomics in West Bengal, and 25 at National Institute of Virology, Pune.
Earlier, on December 29, 6 UK returnees were found positive for the new coronavirus variant which was said to be the first cases to be reported in India.
"All these persons have been kept in single-room isolation in designated healthcare facilities by the respective state governments. Their close contacts have also been put in quarantine. Comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers, family contacts and others. Genome sequencing on other specimens is going on," the Indian Health Ministry said.
Till now the UK strain has already been reported by Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore.
Earlier today, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a fresh national lockdown Monday to try and slow the surge in COVID-19 cases.
"As I speak to you tonight, our hospitals are under more pressure from COVID than any time since the start of the pandemic," Johnson said in a televised address to the country.
The latest national lockdown will include the closure of schools and colleges from Tuesday, and rules requiring most people to stay at home except essential shopping, exercise and other limited exceptions, said a Reuters report.