Six passengers who recently returned from the United Kingdom to Kerala were identified with the latest SARS-CoV-2 variant genome, Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja confirmed.

“Six people who recently returned from the UK have tested positive for the new strain.We have placed them under surveillance. Their samples had been sent to NIV, Pune and results received today,” the minister told

While two persons each from Alappuzha and Kozhikode have tested positive for the new variant, Kottayam and Kannur districts have reported one case each, she said. The six are under isolation and observation. A total of 29 samples were sent for a genome sequencing test from the state.

“The first results showed no signs of the new variant.  But now six people have shown new strain. These six cases have come from Kozhikode (two in a family), Alappuzha (two in a family) and one each in Kottayam and Kannur. They are isolated and have been kept under observation of the Health Department. Since the chances of spreading are high and the infection rates are higher, I request everyone to show more caution."  

As reported earlier, the UK variant is believed to be more infectious than other variants of the novel coronavirus. 

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