Indian coronavirus variant detected in northern Italy

Indian coronavirus variant detected in northern Italy
Photo: Piero Cruciatti/AFP
Authorities in Veneto, northern Italy, announced on Monday they had identified two cases of the Indian variant of coronavirus.

The news follows reports of another case in the central region of Tuscany last month, and comes after the Italian government banned arrivals from India, which is struggling with a catastrophic, record-breaking outbreak that has overwhelmed hospitals.

“Today in (the city of) Bassano we have the first two patients, two Indian citizens,” announced Luca Zaia, head of the Veneto region.

“There are now thousands of variants, and sooner or later they’ll all arrive,” he said. “We have to face up to this, and move forward.”

READ ALSO: Italy bans arrivals from virus-hit India

Bassano, in the province of Vicenza, lies some 65 kilometres (40 miles) north-east of Venice.

The two patients were identified as a father and adult daughter of Indian origin who recently returned from a trip to India. They are currently isolating at home.

Health Minister Roberto Speranza on Sunday announced a new ban on anyone entering Italy who has been in India in the past 14 days.

Anyone already in Italy who had been in India in the past 14 days should contact health authorities, he added.

With a new coronavirus variant spreading through its 1.3 billion people, India has become the world’s biggest coronavirus hotspot in recent days, reporting 349,691 new cases on Sunday alone.

In the past week, more than two million cases have been detected, a 58-percent increase on the previous seven days, according to figures compiled by AFP.

Member comments

  1. Creating what? Burning bodies on a pyre in Delhi? They’re sure scaring the hell out of 1.4 billion people in India then, including my family that can’t leave and all have tested positive with no ability to seek care.

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