The first case of the Indian variant of Covid-19 has been discovered in Switzerland, the Federal Office of Public Health has announced on Twitter.
The case involves a passenger who was in transit at an airport. The addition of India to the list of countries at risk is now being discussed, the office said on Saturday.
In der Schweiz wurde der erste Fall mit der indischen COVID-19-Variante gefunden. Es handelt sich um einen Passagier, der über einen Transitflughafen eingereist war. Die Konsultation darüber läuft, Indien auf die Risikoliste zu setzen.#CoronaInfoCH #Coronavirus
— BAG – OFSP – UFSP (@BAG_OFSP_UFSP)
The Indian variant has already been detected in Britain and Belgium. In Belgium, 21 Indian students who arrived in mid-April via Paris’s Roissy airport tested positive for the variant and were placed in quarantine.
According to several experts, they may have been victims of a “super contaminator”, perhaps within their group, during the bus journey from the Paris region to Belgium.
On Friday India reported the world’s highest daily tally of coronavirus infections for a second day, surpassing 330,000 new cases, as it struggles with a health system overwhelmed by patients and plagued by accidents.
Deaths in the past 24 hours also jumped to a record 2,263, the health ministry said, while officials across northern and western India, including the capital, New Delhi, warned that most hospitals were full and running out of oxygen.
A more infectious variant of the virus that originated in India may have helped accelerate the surge, experts said.
Britain, Canada, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates have banned flights from India.
India, a major vaccine producer, has begun a vaccination campaign but only a tiny fraction of its population of 1.39 billion has received a dose, with experts saying supplies are scarce.