UK strain of Covid-19 infects 150 people in India: Govt
The number of people who have tested positive for the UK variant of Covid-19 in India has climbed to 150, the Union health ministry said on Saturday.
All of them have been kept in single room isolation in designated health care facilities by the respective state governments, the ministry had said earlier.
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, the ministry said.
The situation is under careful watch and regular advice is being provided to the states for enhanced surveillance, containment, testing and dispatch of samples to INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium) labs, the ministry added.
The presence of the new UK variant has already been reported by several countries, including Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore.
The B.1.1.7 variant genome, which is much more infectious, has prompted comprehensive contact tracing for co-travellers, family members and others of those who have travelled to the UK in the last two months.
From November 25 to the midnights of December 23, 2020, about 33,000 passengers disembarked at various Indian airports from the UK, the government said. All these passengers are being tracked and subjected by states to RT-PCR tests to detect the presence of the new variant.
The government took cognisance of the reports of the virus reported from the UK and said it has put in place a proactive and preventive strategy to detect and contain the mutant variant.
This strategy included temporary suspension of all flights coming from the UK from December 23 to January 7 and mandatory RT-PCR test for all UK-returnees.
The samples of all those found positive in the RT-PCR test will be genome sequenced by a consortium of 10 government labs.
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