Seven people who returned to Karnataka from the UK, were found to be infected with the mutated strain of coronavirus, state Health Minister K Sudhakar said on Wednesday.

The swab samples of 26 people who tested positive for COVID-19 were sent to NIMHANS to ascertain whether it is the new strain and seven of them were found to have contracted the UK variant.

The 26 were among the 1,614 UK returnees, who were subjected to the tests.

"Of the seven people, three are in Bengaluru and four in Shivamogga. All of them have been admitted to designated hospitals," Sudhakar told reporters here.

Forty-six primary contacts of the seven people have been quarantined.

Noting that the intensity of the virus was less but it spreads faster, he said everyone must abide by the new guidelines released by the Centre to contain the UK variant.

Twenty people across the country have been tested positive for the new UK variant genome of SARS-CoV2.