Delhi, Dec 29: Six people who had recently returned from the UK to India have tested positive with the new coronavirus the strain that reportedly spreads at a much faster pace and has sent alarm bells ringing across the world.

A total of 6 samples of 6 UK returnees are positive with the new UK variant genome. According to a government statement, 3 samples in NIMHANS of Bengaluru, 2 in CCMB, Hyderabad, and 1 in NIV, Pune has been detected out of all the samples tested.

Meanwhile, the government has taken cognizance of the reports of the mutant variant of coronavirus being detected in India and has “put in place a pro-active and preventive strategy to detect and contain the mutant variant”.

All 6 infected persons have been kept in single-room isolation in designated health care facilities by respective state governments. Their close contacts have also been put under quarantine. The government is meanwhile doing a comprehensive contact tracing exercise for co-travelers, family, and others.

Last week, India had suspended flights from the UK till December 31 after the emergence of the new coronavirus strain in the country, that the UK government said has shown signs of being 70% more transmissible.

The government has said in a statement, “The situation is under careful watch and regular advice is being provided to the states for enhanced surveillance, containment, testing, and dispatch of samples to INSACOG labs.”

The new coronavirus strain first detected in the UK has also been reported in Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore, and a few other nations.

Till Monday, a total of 31 UK returnees had tested positive for coronavirus. All of their samples were sent for further genome sequencing to ascertain whether they have been infected with the mutated strain in the UK.