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Health officials in Mexico confirm first detected case of India covid variant

San Luis Potosi — Health officials in Mexico have confirmed its first detection of the India covid variant in San Luis Potosi, a state that has been under a yellow epidemiological light for six weeks.

The news of the India variant B.1.617 was confirmed Sunday by the Secretary of State Health, Miguel Ángel Lutzow Steiner. He reported that the Institute for Epidemiological Diagnosis and Reference confirmed the new virus variant on Saturday. The confirmation was made after three people were tested with one returning a positive result.

In a press conference, Lutzow Steiner said it was the first confirmed case in Mexico, adding that the patient is 40 years old and in isolation. He also added that this particular variant spreads faster.

“It must be remembered that variant B.1.617 contains a mutation that allows it to spread faster. It is also being investigated whether it affects the efficacy of treatment,” he said.

The B.1.617 variant, also known as VUI-21APR-01, is one of the known variants of SARS-CoV-2. It was first identified in Maharashtra, India on 5 October 2020.

At least one case of the B.1.617 variant has also been detected in the U.S. Last week, a Michigan adult who had recently traveled to India returned positive for the virus. Mexican health officials did not confirm how the San Luis Potosi patient became infected.