NEW DELHI, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- Indian Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Thursday that the number of mutant COVID-19 strain cases in the country is 153.
"In India right now we have 153 cases which have been diagnosed with the help of genome sequencing etc., that has been done in our scientific laboratories," Vardhan said while giving an update about the COVID-19 variant first discovered in Britain.
"All the protocols to isolate them, keep them under surveillance and other routine protocols are being strictly followed for these 153 cases," he added.
The positive samples for the variant are being tested at 10 Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) Labs across the country.
According to officials, all these patients have been kept in single room isolation in designated health care facilities by respective local governments.
Officials said their close contacts have also been put under quarantine.
The new variant of the virus detected in Britain has triggered widespread concern and travel restrictions across the world.
The Indian government initially suspended flight services to and from Britain in wake of the new strain of COVID-19 found there. However, the flights were later resumed.
Earlier this month the government in India's capital city New Delhi ordered that passengers arriving from Britain be sent to seven days of institutional quarantine before home isolation even if they test negative for COVID-19. Enditem