South African, Brazilian variants of Covid-19 have entered India: Govt

The Brazilian variant has been reported from 15 countries. India registered its first case in February 2021, Dr Bhargava said.
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India has recorded at least one case of the Brazilian variant of Covid-19 and four cases of the South African variant, Director-General of Indian Centre for Medical Research Dr Balram Bhargava told media on Tuesday.

Addressing the Covid-19 media briefing, Dr Bhargava said that the infected people and their contacts have been quarantined.

“ICMR-NIV is attempting to isolate and culture the South African variant of SARS-CoV-2, while the Brazilian variant of SAS-CoV-2 has been isolated and cultured at ICMR-NIV-Pune,” Dr Bhargava said.

The ICMR chief said that India currently has 187 patients who have been infected with the UK variant of the Covid-19 virus. There have been no mortalities among the people infected with the UK variant.

“All confirmed cases are quarantined and treated. Their contacts have been isolated and tested. Neutralisation potential with the UK variant of the virus is there with the vaccine that we have,” Dr Balram Bhargava said.

The ICMR chief said that experiments are underway to assess the vaccine’s effectiveness against South African and Brazilian variants as they are different from the UK variant.

Dr Bhargava informed that the South African variant has already spread to 44 countries. The four people who tested positive for the South African variant in India had come from Angola (1), Tanzania (1) and South Africa (2).

The Brazilian variant has been reported from 15 countries. India registered its first case in February 2021, Dr Bhargava said.

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