Six UK returnees to India test positive for new UK variant genome: Health Ministry

Six UK returnees to India have been found positive for new UK variant genome.

Health Ministry said, three of them are in NIMHANS, Bengaluru, two in CCMB, Hyderabad and one in NIV, Pune.

It said, all these persons have been kept in single room isolation in designated Health Care facilities by the State Governments.

Their close contacts have also been put under quarantine.

Comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers, family contacts and others.

Genome sequencing on other specimens is going on.

Health Ministry said, the situation is under careful watch and regular advice is being provided to the States for enhanced surveillance, containment, testing and dispatch of samples to INSACOG labs.

From 25th November to 23rd December 2020 midnight, about 33 thousand passengers disembarked at various Indian airports from UK.

All these passengers are being tracked and subjected by States and UTs to RT-PCR tests.

So far only 114 have been found positive.

These positive samples have been sent to 10 INSACOG labs for genome sequencing.

Government of India took cognizance of the reports of mutant variant of SARS- CoV-2 virus reported from UK and put in place a pro-active and preventive strategy to detect and contain the mutant variant.

This strategy includes, temporary suspension of all flights coming from UK with effect from the midnight of 23rd December till 31st December 2020, Mandatory testing of all UK returnee air passengers through RT-PCR test.

The samples of all UK returnees found positive in RT-PCR test to be genome sequenced by a consortium of 10 government labs.

A meeting of the National Task Force held on Covid-19 on 26th December to consider and recommend Testing, Treatment, Surveillance and Containment Strategy and Standard Operating Protocol for States and UTs to tackle the mutant variant of SARS-CoV-2 .

The presence of the new UK Variant has already been reported by Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore, so far.


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