Indian Covid variant traced in northern Italy

Rome, Italy: Authorities in northern Italy reported Monday that two cases of the Indian strain of coronavirus had been found in a father and daughter who had recently returned from India.

The news comes after reports of another case in Tuscany's central region last month and comes after the Italian government barred arrivals from the virus-infected country.

"Today in (the city of) Bassano we have the first two patients, two Indians," announced Luca Zaia, head of the Veneto region.

Bassano is located 65 kilometers (40 miles) northeast of Venice in the province of Vicenza.

The two patients were described as an Indian father and adult daughter who had recently returned from a trip to India. They are currently isolating themselves at home.

On Sunday, Health Minister Roberto Speranza declared a new ban on anyone entering Italy who has spent the previous 14 days in India.

India is dealing with a catastrophic, unprecedented epidemic that has overburdened hospitals and forced crematoriums to operate at maximum capacity.

The nation's healthcare system struggled to deal with the massive increase in cases, with reports of overcrowded hospitals, extreme oxygen, and drug shortages, and patients' families begging for assistance on social media.

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