India reports 18,088 new COVID-19 cases and 264 deaths in the last 24 hours; 71 cases of UK variant

New Delhi: The Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry said that 13 more people have tested positive for the new UK variant of sars-cov-2, which pushed the total tally of UK returnees having tested positive for the mutant virus to 71 in India.

The results of tests are based on the genome sequencing of positive samples released by the Indian Sars-Cov-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) labs that the Union government has particularly made to monitor any kind of mutations in the virus.

Dr. Renu Swarup, secretary, department of biotechnology, on Tuesday in the media briefing said, “As of now, there have been 71 positive cases detected of the new UK variant from different designated labs across the country.”

The centre has directed states to fast track contact tracing of these positive cases, and confine and test the indicative contacts to check the spread of disease that is known to be in any event 70% more infectious than the first infection. The samples have so far been sequenced in six of the 10 assigned labs the nation over.

Meanwhile, India reports 18,088 fresh cases of coronavirus which pushed the total tally to 1,03,74,932 in the nation. The active cases now stand at 2,27,546. With 21,314 new recoveries, as far as 99,97,272 patients recovered, and with 264 new deaths in the last 24 hours, the death toll has risen to 1,50,114.

As per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a total of 9,31,408 samples were tested yesterday, and as far as 17,74,63,405 samples have been tested till January 5.

As per Union Health and Welfare Ministry, the infection (Active) rate is 2.19 percent, the recovery rate has reached 96.36 percent and the death rate is 1.45 percent.