Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune: Where India found samples of UK returnees positive for new coronavirus strain
A total of six persons who returned to India from the United Kingdom were found positive for the new coronavirus strain discovered there, the Union ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) said in a statement on Tuesday. Of these, the ministry said, three samples were found positive in Bengaluru, two in Hyderabad and one in Pune.
“A total of six samples of six UK returnee persons have been found to be positive with the new UK variant genome. 3 in National Institute of Mental Health and Sciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru, 2 in Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad and 1 in National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune,” the ministry’s statement noted on Tuesday morning. The statement further said that those who have tested positive have been kept in single-room isolation in designated health care facilities by respective state governments, adding that their close contacts, too, have been quarantined.
Mentioning that the situation is under careful watch, the statement also said that states are being advised regularly for enhanced surveillance, containment, testing and dispatch of samples to 10 Indian Sars-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) labs, including the three where the six samples were found positive with the new coronavirus strain.
Of the six who have tested positive for the new variant genome, one is from Tamil Nadu, state health secretary J Radhakrishnan said. Of the two samples found positive in CCMB Hyderabad, one each is from Warangal (Telangana) and Nellore (Andhra Pradesh).
On December 21, the Union ministry of civil aviation had announced a temporary ban on flights from the United Kingdom, from 11:59 pm on December 22 till December 31. The ministry had also directed that passengers arriving in India from any international flight from the UK be subjected to “mandatory” RT-PCR tests, and had also issued detailed SOPs in this regard.
The new coronavirus strain, which is reported to be 70% more contagious than the current one, has led to several countries putting a ban on flights from the UK. It was discovered in the country in September. The presence of this new variant has already been reported by Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore, so far.