A 34-year old man who came to India from the United Kingdom on December 18 has tested positive for COVID-19. The man has been kept under strict observation due to suspicions that he may have contracted the recent mutated strain of COVID-19 that was detected in the UK earlier this month.
Bhubaneshwar Municipal Corporation Commissioner Prem Chandra Choudhary confirmed that all guidelines for isolation and testing had been followed in the case and that contact tracing was currently in effect.
The lab testing will be done at the Institute for Life Sciences in Bhubaneswar, which is one of the 5 designated institutions for genome sequencing of the virus.
The new Variant Under Investigation (VUI) of COVID-19 is the latest stage in the pandemic which has now lasted a year. Scientists have reported that the new strain has two crucial 'spike protein' mutations which allow it to replicate and spread faster than previous ones. There is no confirmation yet as to whether it has caused any greater severity in symptoms.