The novel coronavirus is widely believed to have originated in China’s Wuhan city. Former US President Donald Trump went to the extent of calling it the ‘China virus’. Even though the Chinese government steadfastly refused to admit it, the virus spread like wildfire to the rest of the world, sparing none.
Now, ironically, as an uncontrollable second wave sweeps across India, China looks to have ‘imported’ the ‘double mutant’ coronavirus variant circulating here.
At least 18 cases of the virulent virus variant, which is wreaking havoc in India, have been found in China, including in three Chinese nationals who worked near New Delhi and returned home last month.
A Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publication reported that three Chinese nationals tested positive after returning to Chongqing, in south-west China, from India via Kathmandu.
The trio, working at a mobile phone company in Noida, had travelled to New Delhi in a chartered car on April 19 before flying to Kathmandu.
“They stayed in a hotel in Nepal for two days and then flew to Chongqing on April 21 and immediately tested positive for COVID-19 after landing in Chongqing,” the CDC Weekly report said.
Tests detected coronavirus infection that matched the Indian B.1.617.2 variant, “supporting the conclusion that the COVID-19 infection on these three patients probably occurred in India.”
Zhejiang province and Shanghai have also reported ‘imported’ cases including asymptomatic cases from India.
China has reported a total of 90,721 COVID-19 cases and 4,636 deaths till date, since the start of the pandemic. The last death recorded was in January.