First cases of Indian variant of coronavirus reported in France

France has been imposing entry restrictions on travellers from India to fight a contagious coronavirus variant spreading in that country. They need to pass a mandatory antigen test upon their arrival, in addition to a pre-boarding PCR test.

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A case of the coronavirus variant first detected in India has now been detected in mainland France, regional health agency director Benoit Elleboode said Thursday.A first case, involving a woman who travelled to India and is living in southwestern France, was confirmed on Thursday, the ministry said. Two other people who travelled to India were infected with the so-called Indian variant in southeastern France, the ministry said.

France has been imposing entry restrictions on travellers from India to fight a contagious coronavirus variant spreading in that country. They need to pass a mandatory antigen test upon their arrival, in addition to a pre-boarding PCR test.The variant, named B.1.617, has been reported in some 17 countries, raising global concern.The variant contains two key mutations to the outer “spike” portion of the virus that attaches to human cells.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said the predominant lineage of B.1.617 was first identified in India last December, although an earlier version was spotted in October 2020.The WHO has described it as a “variant of interest”, suggesting it may have mutations that would make the virus more transmissible, cause more severe disease or evade vaccine immunity.

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