Agartala: Amidst fears of an outbreak of a more contagious coronavirus strain, Tripura is on alert after one person, who returned from the UK recently, has tested positive for COVID-19. The test samples of the person have now been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune to check for the mutated strain.

Tripura’s nodal officer for COVID-19, Dr Deep Debbarma, told EastMojo that at least five people have returned from the UK recently, and two of them have returned in the last two weeks.

“We traced those passengers who have returned to Tripura from the UK recently. We collected the samples of two persons who have returned in last 14 days. One of them has tested positive for the virus,” Debbarma said.

Also Read: COVID-19 positive UK returnee in Jorhat has Assam on edge

He added that the samples of the person who tested positive have been sent to NIV in Pune to check for the mutated strain.

“We have kept the person and his family members under home isolation. He had returned home around 14 days ago and was asymptomatic. It was only after we collected his samples that he tested positive for the virus,” Debbarma said.

Meanwhile, India has joined the over 40 countries in banning travel from the UK, where a mutated strain of novel coronavirus is rapidly spreading.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the mutant strain of the virus has a 70% higher rate of transmission and may already be present in several countries, even though it was “unlikely that a couple of mutations” could affect the immune system’s response to an existing vaccine.

Meanwhile, in Tripura a total of 5,72,192 samples have been tested, out of which 33,225 persons have tested positive for the virus, with 168 active cases.

The positivity rate stands at 5.81 percent, test per million at 1,43,134 while the recovery rate stands at 98.33 percent and mortality rate at 1.15 percent, the media bulletin informed.

Also Read: New mutant strain: 8 from UK test positive for COVID-19

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