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Six UK Returnees Test Positive For New COVID-19 Variant

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New Delhi: A total of six samples of UK returnees have been found to be positive with a variant of SARS- CoV-2 virus reported from the UK.

“Three in NIMHANS, Bengaluru, 2 in CCMB, Hyderabad, and 1 in NIV, Pune,” said information released by the Health Ministry.

It added that all of them has been kept in a single room isolation in designated health care facilities by the 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 Ministry.

From November 25 to December 23, 2020 midnight, about 33,000 passengers disembarked at various Indian airports from the UK. All these passengers are being tracked and subjected by States/UTs to RT-PCR tests. So far, only 114 have been found positive.

These positive samples have been sent to 10 INSACOG labs (NIBMG Kolkata, ILS Bhubaneswar, NIV Pune, CCS Pune, CCMB Hyderabad, CDFD Hyderabad, InSTEM Bengaluru, NIMHANS Bengaluru, IGIB Delhi, NCDC Delhi) for genome sequencing.

The Ministry said that the situation was under careful watch and regular advice was being provided to the States for enhanced surveillance, containment, testing and dispatch of samples.

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