ZURICH: The first case of the Indian variant of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Switzerland, the Federal Office for Public Health (BAG) said, as other countries introduce travel bans to contain its spread.
The case involved a passenger who arrived in Switzerland via a transit airport and not directly from India, which has been hit hard by a massive wave of infections in recent days, the BAG said on Twitter.
The test took place at the end of March, BAG told Reuters on Sunday, adding the person entered Switzerland via a European country.
“The reason for this is the rapid spread of the variant in the country,” a spokesman said, referring to India, adding there was currently no accurate information on how infectious or how much more dangerous the new variant was.
Italy on Sunday joined other countries by imposing restrictions on travel from India to avert the spread of the variant.
Meanwhile, Switzerland has added India to its list of high-risk countries from which travellers must enter quarantine following the surge of cases in the subcontinent and the discovery here of a first case of new variant of COVID-19 first identified in India.
Arrivals from India must immediately go into quarantine, under the government restrictions which go into effect at 1600 GMT on Monday, the Federal Office of Public Health said on its website.
India ordered its armed forces on Monday to help tackle surging new coronavirus infections that are overwhelming hospitals, as infections rose by 352,991 in the last 24 hours.