GENEVA: A first case of the coronavirus variant contributing to the exploding COVID-19 outbreak in India has been detected in Switzerland, the public health authority said on Saturday (Apr 24).
“The first case of the Indian variant of COVID-19 has been discovered in Switzerland,” Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health said in a tweet.
The virus variant was found in “a passenger who was transiting through an airport”, it said, without providing more details about the case.
The news comes after Belgian authorities on Thursday said that a group of 20 Indian nursing students who arrived from Paris had tested positive for the variant in the country.
India’s healthcare system is meanwhile buckling under a new wave of infections blamed in part on the new “double mutant” variant, known as B1617.
Countries have been on high alert for the variant, with several suspending flights from India.
READ: India’s daily COVID-19 death toll hits new record as shortages bite
READ: India COVID-19 variant: What we know so far
The Swiss are meanwhile discussing whether to add India to its “red list” of high-risk countries, the health authority said on Saturday.
People arriving from countries placed on Switzerland’s red list are required to quarantine for 10 days.
It puts countries and regions on the list once COVID-19 infection rates remain significantly higher than Switzerland’s for a period of 14 days.
BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the coronavirus outbreak and its developments
Download our app or subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak: https://cna.asia/telegram