A first case of the B.1.617 coronavirus variant first identified in India has been found in Switzerland, the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) announced on Saturday.
“The first case of the Indian Covid-19 variant has been found in Switzerland. It was a passenger that was in transit at the airport,” the office said in a tweet. “The adding of India on the list of risk countries is currently being evaluated.”
The B.1.617 variant includes a number of mutations. The Indian Health Ministry has said that such mutations increase infectivity and aids in escaping immune response.
According to FOPH, the B.1.1.7 variant first identified in the United Kingdom is currently the most widespread in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, with 16,922 confirmed cases according to the latest official figures on Friday.