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Six UK returnees test positive for new Covid variant

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By Our Correspondent Updated: Dec 29, 2020 9:46 pm
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Our Correspondent

Kohima, Dec. 29 (EMN): The government of India informed on Tuesday that it has taken cognisance 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 variant.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare reminded that in order to curb the spread of the infection, it has imposed a temporary suspension of all flights coming from UK with effect from the midnight of December 23 to the 31st.

Mandatory testing of all UK returnees through RT-PCR test is being conducted and the samples of all UK returnees found positive in RT-PCR test will be genome sequenced by a consortium of 10 government labs (INSACOG), it informed.

The ministry also reminded about standard operating protocol (SOP) for states and union territories to tackle the mutant variant of SARS-CoV-2 issued on December 22.

Six samples of UK returnees have been found positive with the new variant genome—three in NIMHANS, Bengaluru, two in CCMB, Hyderabad and one in NIV, Pune, it added.

All these persons have been kept in single-room isolation in designated health care facilities by their respective 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, it stated.

It is important to note that 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, it informed.

6103
By Our Correspondent Updated: Dec 29, 2020 9:46:48 pm