9 new cases of mutant COVID-19 strain detected in India, total reaches 38

The total number of people infected by the new UK strain of coronavirus has risen to 38 in India, the Health Ministry said on Monday.

“A total of 38 samples have been found to be positive with the new U.K variant genome. 10 in NIMHANS, Bengaluru, 3 in CCMB, Hyderabad, 5 in NIV, Pune, 11 in IGIB, Delhi, 8 in NCDC, New Delhi and 1 in NCBG, Kolkata,” the Ministry said.

The Ministry said that the NCBS, InSTEM, Bengaluru, CDFD Hyderabad, ILS Bhubaneswar, and NCCS Pune have so far found no UK mutant virus.

“The positive samples are being tested at 10 INSACOG labs (NIBMG Kolkata, ILS Bhubaneswar, NIV Pune, NCCS Pune, CCMB Hyderabad, CDFD Hyderabad, InSTEM Bengaluru, NIMHANS Bengaluru, IGIB Delhi, NCDC Delhi) for genome sequencing,” the statement said.

All these persons have been kept in single room isolation in designated Health Care facilities by 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, it said.

The situation is under careful watch and regular advice is being provided to the States for enhanced surveillance, containment, testing & dispatch of samples to INSACOG labs, it added.

India has suspended flights to and from the United Kingdom till January 7. 

The Union Health Ministry has said that about 33,000 passengers disembarked at various Indian airports from the UK from November 25 to December 23 midnight. All these passengers are being tracked and subjected by States/UTs to RT-PCR tests and samples of those found positive be sent for genome sequencing.