Ladakh reports first case of new UK coronavirus strain

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Ladakh on Thursday reported the first positive case of the new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 from Leh district.

Confirming the development, Commissioner Secretary Health, Ladakh, RigzinSamphel said, “One case of the new UK variant of coronavirus has been reported in Ladakh on Thursday. The patient has been quarantined at a government facility and is being treated as per the protocols. We are also tracing the contacts of the patient.”

He said that a 40-year-old man, who was isolated for two weeks on arrival, had now tested positive for the new COVID strain and had been isolated and kept at a separate isolation facility and all necessary precautions taken. Samphel said that the individual had travel history of Germany, who on arrival to Ladakh on December 26 last year tested positive for the novel coronavirus after RT-PCR test.

“Without taking any further time, samples for the variant strain were conducted given the foreign travel history and were sent to Delhi for final confirmation,” he said.

Samphel said that the report from Delhi was received and the individual was found positive and infected with the new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2. As already made mandatory for all the passengers, the official said that the individual was made to undergo an RT-PCR test and on December 26, he tested positive for the novel coronavirus and was put at an isolation facility of SNM Hospital, Leh.

“We have informed the airport authority and locals who might have come in contact with the person and started contact tracing,” Samphel said.

This is the first positive case with the new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 in entire Ladakh, he said.