Indian Coronavirus Variant Detected in Maranhão

A crew member of a ship moored off the coast of São Luís was admitted to the ICU


The first cases of the Indian coronavirus variant in Brazil were confirmed on Thursday (20) in the state of Maranhão.

The State Department of Health reported that it detected variant B.1.617 in six samples collected from crew members of the ZHI MV Shandong vessel, with a Hong Kong flag, anchored on the high seas off the coast of São Luís, since May 7.

MV Shandong da ZHI (Foto: Reproducao )

One of the vessel's crew members, of Indian nationality, was admitted to an ICU (Intensive Care Unit) of a private hospital in São Luís last Saturday (15). He had to be taken by helicopter from the ship to the health facility.

In total, according to information from the state government, 15 crew members tested positive for Covid-19 and 9 negative. All six samples with the highest viral load sent for genomic sequencing to the Evandro Chagas Institute in Pará, showed a positive result for the underline B.1.617.2, one of the three Indian variants.

There are 23 crew members in quarantine, isolated in individual cabins, inside the vessel. The State Department of Health reported that 2 of them have mild symptoms, and 12 remain asymptomatic.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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