India: New UK Variant COVID Cases Climbs to 58

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The total number of cases of the new strain of UK mutant COVID-19 in India reached 58 after 20 more people have been tested positive for the virus, said Union Health Ministry.

The results are based on the genome sequencing of positive samples released by the Indian Sars-CoV2 Genomics Consortium (Insacog) labs that the Centre has specifically created for the purpose of monitoring any kind of mutations in the virus.

According to reports, the samples have so far been sequenced in six of the 10 designated labs across the country.

Among the sequenced samples, 10 samples tested positive in NIMHANS, Bengaluru, three in CCMB, Hyderabad, five in NIV, Pune, 11 in IGIB, Delhi, eight in NCDC, New Delhi, and one in NCBG, Kolkata.

NCBS, InSTEM, Bengaluru, CDFD Hyderabad, ILS Bhubaneswar, and NCCS Pune have so far found no traces of the UK variant among the samples that have been sequenced in their labs.

From November 25 to December 23, 2020, about 33,000 passengers disembarked at various Indian airports from UK.

All these passengers are being tracked and subjected by states to reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests to detect Covid-19.

“All these persons have been kept in single-room isolation in designated health care facilities by 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,” said the Union health ministry in a statement.

“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,” the statement further read.

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