India on Tuesday reported the presence of UK mutant COVID virus in the country in six UK returnees who recently arrived in India.
The national genome consortium set up to track mutations said “A total of 6 samples of 6 UK returnee persons have been found to be positive with the new UK variant genome. 3 in NIMHANS, Bengaluru, 2 in CSIR Institute Centre for Cellular Biology, Hyderabad and 1 in NIV, Pune.
From November 25 to December 23, 2020 midnight, about 33,000 passengers disembarked at various Indian airports from UK and tracked.
“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 genome sequencing labs and a total of 6 samples of 6 UK returnee persons have been found to be positive with the new UK variant genome. 3 in, Bengaluru, 2 in CCMB, Hyderabad and 1 in NIV, Pune,” the Health Ministry confirmed.
All these persons have been kept in a 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 their co-travellers, family contacts and others. Genome sequencing on other specimens is going on.
“The situation is under careful watch and regular advice is being provided to the states for enhanced surveillance, containment, testing, dispatch of samples to INSACOG labs,” the government said.
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. .