COVID-19 variant from India detected in Uganda

Uganda has detected the COVID-19 variant from India, the country’s Health Ministry said on Thursday.

The Government made the announcement on Twitter but did not divulge any more details on the case.

The Health Ministry however urged citizens to “Wear a mask when in public; wash hands with clean water and soap or use a hand sanitizer; practice physical distancing and get vaccinated.”

Romania has also reported its first case of the coronavirus variant that was first identified in India.

The case was diagnosed in a 26-year-old patient who arrived in Romania roughly a month ago and presented light symptoms.

The ministry said its national public health institute said the identified mutation was not the more infectious one believed to have generated the sharp rise in cases in India.

Four days ago, the first case of the Indian variant of COVID-19 was confirmed in Switzerland.

The Federal Office for Public Health (BAG) made the announcement as other countries introduced travel bans to contain its spread.

The case involved a passenger who arrived in Switzerland via a transit airport and not directly from India, which has been hit hard by a massive wave of infections in recent days, the BAG said on Twitter.

The test took place at the end of March, BAG told Reuters on Sunday, adding the person entered Switzerland via a European country.

BAG said consultations were now underway on whether to add India to its list of high-risk countries, from where people must immediately go into quarantine upon arrival in Switzerland.

“The reason for this is the rapid spread of the variant in the country,” a spokesman said, referring to India, adding there was currently no accurate information on how infectious or how much more dangerous the new variant was.

Italy on Sunday joined other countries by imposing restrictions on travel from India to avert the spread of the variant.

Meanwhile, India’s total COVID-19 cases passed 18 million on Thursday after another world record number of daily infections, as gravediggers worked around the clock to bury victims and hundreds more were cremated in makeshift pyres in parks and parking lots.

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