A total of 38 people have been tested for the New England variant of SARS-CoV-2 in India so far, the Federal Ministry of Health said on Monday.
This includes 29 cases reported as of Friday.
All these people are kept in single room isolation in the health facilities designated by the respective state governments and their close contacts are also subjected to isolation, the ministry said.
Of the 38, the modified UK strain was detected in eight samples at the National Center for Disease Control (NCTC) in New Delhi, 11 at the Institute of Genomics and Integrated Biology (IGIP) in Delhi, and 11 at the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIPMG). ), Kalyani (near Kolkata), five at the National Institute of Virology in Pune, three at the Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMP) in Hyderabad and 10 at the Psychiatric and Neuroscience Hospital (Nimhans), Bangalore. NCBS, INSTEM in Bangalore, CDFD in Hyderabad, ILS in Bhubaneswar and NCCS in Pune have not been detected in the UK so far, the ministry said.
“A total of 38 samples were found to be positive with the New England variant gene,” the ministry said.
It said extensive contact tracking has been launched for fellow travelers, family contacts and others. In other models the genome sequencing takes place.
“The situation is being closely monitored and regular advice is being given to the states to monitor, control, test and send the samples to Inzac Labs,” the ministry said.
Positive Govt-19 samples from 10 Inzac Labs (NIPMG Kolkata, ILS Bhubaneswar, NIV Pune, NCCS Pune, CCMP Hyderabad, CDFT Hyderabad, Instem Bangalore, Nimhans Bangalore, IGIP Delhi and NCTC Delhi) are being tested.
The presence of the new UK variant has already been announced by Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore.
The Government of India was aware of the virus reports reported from the UK and came up with an effective and preventive strategy to detect the mutated variant and control them.
The strategy includes suspending all flights from the UK from midnight on December 23 to January 7 and making it mandatory for all passengers returning to the UK to undergo an RT-PCR test. Samples of all UK returnees found to be positive on RT-PCR test will be genetically sequenced by 10 Government Laboratories – Inzac Coalition. Furthermore, all international travelers arriving in India from 9 to 22 December will be subjected to genetic sequencing as part of the Centre’s strategy to detect abnormalities in the UK if they are tested positive and positive for Covit-19.
Others will be followed by the respective state and district monitoring authorities and tested according to the ICMR guidelines (albeit asymptomatic) between the fifth and tenth day, according to the Federal Ministry of Health’s Guidance Document.
In addition, epidemiological surveillance of travelers arriving in India from November 23 will be conducted in the community through active follow-up. Besides, the standard operating protocol for states and UTs to deal with the mutation variant of SARS-CoV-2 was released on December 22nd.