BENGALURU, Feb.16 (Reuters) – India has detected the South African and Brazilian coronavirus variants and people returning from those countries could be tested more aggressively, health officials said on Tuesday.
The South African variant was detected in four people last month and the Brazilian in one person this month, they said, adding that the strains can infect a person’s lungs more easily than the British mutation.
The Indian government is now considering imposing RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) testing for all people arriving from Brazil and South Africa, as is done for those arriving from the UK. United. India has so far reported 187 cases of infection with the UK variant.
“There are no direct flights from South Africa or Brazil, so the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Civil Aviation are in contact on action to be taken in this matter,” the Minister said. Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan at a press conference.
India’s COVID-19 cases have increased by 9,121 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 10.93 million, just behind the United States tally. Deaths increased from 81 to 155,813.