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India will sequence the genome of all Covid positive samples from UK passengers to check for a new variant


All passenger samples arriving in India from the UK that test positive for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) will be retested via a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test ( RT-PCR) based on spike genes to search for the new variant of Sars-CoV-2 that causes Covid-19, according to the union ministry of health and family welfare.

Separate isolation facilities will be created for individuals who test positive, and those whose samples indicate the presence of a new Sars-CoV-2 variant after genomic sequencing will continue in the separate isolation unit.

Although the necessary treatment will be administered according to the existing protocol, the patient will undergo the test on day 14, after having tested positive in the initial test. If the sample is positive on day 14, another sample can be taken until two consecutive samples taken 24 hours apart are negative.

The Ministry of Health issued detailed standard procedures for epidemiological surveillance and response in the context of a new Sars-Cov-2 variant detected in the UK that is known to be at least 70% more transmissible.

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“Passengers who test positive will be isolated in an institutional isolation facility in a separate (isolation) unit coordinated by the respective State Health Authorities. They would allocate specific facilities for said isolation and treatment. The action necessary to send the samples to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune or any other appropriate laboratory for genomic sequencing will begin at the facility level, ”says the SOP.

Those who test negative on the RT-PCR method at the airport will be advised to self-quarantine at home and authorities will follow up to make sure they comply.

The government has also started a massive exercise to track all UK passengers who have arrived in India in the past four weeks.

“The State Passenger Manifesto for flights from the UK that landed at various international airports in India during the past 4 weeks (November 25, 2020 to December 23, 2020) will be transmitted by the Immigration Office to the Government of the State / Integrated Disease Surveillance Program (IDSP) so that these data were provided to the surveillance teams, ”he says. These people will be asked to self-monitor their health and get tested with RT-PCR kits if they develop symptoms.

All contacts of those travelers who arrived at various airports from December 21 to 23, 2020 and tested positive would be subject to institutional quarantine in separate quarantine centers (without exception) and would be evaluated according to the Indian Council of Medical Research ( ICMR). guidelines.

The contacts in the suspected case would also include passengers sitting in the same row, 3 rows in front and 3 rows behind, along with the identified cabin crew.

All community contacts (without any exception) of those travelers who test positive would be placed in institutional quarantine in separate quarantine centers and would be evaluated between the fifth and tenth day according to current ICMR guidelines using RT kits. -PCR.

Hindustan Times