New Delhi: The number of people who have tested positive for the new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 has climbed to 82 in India, the health ministry said on Friday. The number of such people stood at 73 till January 6 (Wednesday), it added.Also Read - COVID-19 'XE' Variant: WHO Warns Against New, More Transmissible Virus Strain. Top Points to Know

“The total number of cases infected with the new strain of the novel coronavirus, first reported in the UK, now stands at 82,” the ministry said. Also Read - Omicron ‘Stealth Variant’ Still At High Level, Can Trigger Another COVID Wave In India: IMA As BA.2 Causes Concerns Worldwide

All the people who have tested positive for the new variant of the virus were kept in single-room isolation at designated healthcare facilities by the respective state governments, the ministry had earlier said. Also Read - NeoCov Just 1 Mutation Away From Infecting Humans: Scientists Warn About New, Lethal Coronavirus Variant | Things to Know

Their close contacts have also been put under quarantine. A comprehensive contact-tracing exercise has been initiated for their co-travellers, family members and others and genome sequencing on other specimens is going on, the ministry said.

The situation is being closely monitored and regular advice is being provided to the states for enhanced surveillance, containment, testing and dispatch of samples to INSACOG laboratories.

The presence of the new United Kingdom variant of the virus has already been reported by several countries, including Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore.

(With inputs from PTI)