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14 more returnees from the UK test positive for a new strain of coronavirus; total 20 | India News

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NEW DELHI: Twenty people who returned to India from the UK have tested positive for the new UK variant genome of SARS-CoV-2 so far, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday.
The count includes six people who tested positive for the new strain of the virus on Tuesday.
The ministry said the UK mutated strain was detected in eight samples at the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), one at the National Institute for Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG), Kalyani (near Calcutta), one at the National Institute of Virology (NIV). ) Pune, seven at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience Hospital (NIMHANS) Â Bengaluru, two at the Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad and one at the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), Delhi .
The ministry said on Tuesday that six returnees from the UK tested positive for the mutated UK genome variant and that all of these people have been kept in single room isolation in healthcare facilities designated by the respective state governments and their close contacts. they have also been quarantined.
“A full contact tracing has been started for fellow travelers, family contacts and others. Genome sequencing is underway on other samples.
“The situation is under careful surveillance and regular advice is being provided to states to improve surveillance, containment, testing, and sending samples to INSACOG laboratories,” the ministry said.
Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore have already reported the presence of the new UK variant.
The ministry said that from November 25 to midnight December 23, about 33,000 passengers disembarked at various Indian airports in the UK. All these passengers are being tracked and subjected to RT-PCR tests by states and territories of the Union.
The Indian government took notice of the virus reports reported from the UK and put in place a proactive and preventive strategy to detect and contain the mutant variant, he said.
This strategy includes the temporary suspension of all flights from the UK from midnight December 23 to December 31 and mandatory testing of all air passengers returning to the UK using the RT-PCR test. Samples from all UK returnees who test positive by RT-PCR will be genome sequenced by a consortium of 10 government laboratories, i.e. INSACOG.
In addition, a meeting of the National Task Force (NTF) on COVID-19 was held on December 26 to consider and recommend the testing, treatment, surveillance and containment strategy.
Additionally, a standard operating protocol was issued on December 22 for states and UT to address the SARS-CoV-2 mutant variant.
The NTF examined the whole matter in detail on December 26 and the NTF concluded that there is no need to change the existing National Treatment Protocol or existing testing protocols in light of the mutant variant.
The NTF also recommended that, in addition to the existing surveillance strategy, enhanced genomic surveillance is essential, the ministry had said.

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