The Indian variant is now present in mainland France. At least five cases of covid due to the B.1.617 variant have been detected: three in Nouvelle-Aquitaine (two in Lot-et-Garonne and one in Bordeaux), and two in Bouches-du-Rhône.

Read also: Five things to know about the Indian variant

“Controlled spread”

The three patients identified in New Aquitaine “are OK“, none suffers from”severe, everyone is home with little or no symptoms“and the”propagation is under control“, reassured the Regional Health Agency (ARS).

These three cases concern people who had traveled to India. In Lot-et-Garonne, it is a woman who traveled in March to India, symptomatic and tested positive on April 9, and her husband. The couple are in solitary confinement.

In Bordeaux, the case also concerns a man who was returning from a trip to India for professional reasons.

Two cases in the Bouches-du-Rhône

On the evening of April 29, the Ministry of Health had specified that two cases had also been detected in the Bouches-du-Rhône.

They concern “two people arriving from India, unrelated to each other“,”quarantined immediately upon arrival“and”tested positive at the start of their quarantine on April 19 and 27, respectively“, specified the ministry.

Other suspicions under investigation

These are the first cases detected in mainland France but two cases had already been confirmed in Guadeloupe.

To date, several other suspected infections with the B.1.617 variant have been reported in France in people who have stayed in India. Investigations reinforced by the ARS and the sequencing of samples (…) are underway“, specified the Ministry of Health.

A variant present in 17 countries

This variant is believed to be more contagious than previous strains of the coronavirus. He could have played a role in the epidemic outbreak that is currently devastating India.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced Tuesday that this variant of the virus had been identified in 17 countries, including several in Europe.

In France, the strain responsible for the overwhelming majority of contaminations is currently the British variant (82.7%). The so-called South African and Brazilian variants together represent 5% of cases, according to the latest data from Public health France.