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India detects total 71 cases of the new Covid-19 strain first seen in UK

The number of people who have tested positive for the new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 in the country has climbed to 71, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday

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Coronavirus | India | Coronavirus Vaccine

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Covid-19 pandemic
A Covid-19 testing centre in India

Thenumberof people whohave tested positive for the new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 in the country has climbed to 71, theUnion said on Wednesday.

These 71 cases include the 58 which were announced by the ministry till Tuesday.

"The total number of cases infected with the new strain of the novel first reported in the UK now stands at 71," the ministry said.

All these persons have been kept in single room isolation in designated Health Care facilities by respective state governments, the ministry had said on Tuesday.

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 anddispatch of samples to INSACOG labs.

The presence of the newUKvariant has already been reported by several countries including Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore.

The Government of took cognizance of the reports of virus reported from theUKand put in place a proactive and preventive strategy to detect and contain the mutant variant, it said.

This strategy includes temporary suspension of all flights coming from theUKwitheffectfromthemidnightofDecember23 till January 7 and mandatory testing of allUK-returned air passengers through RT-PCR test.

The samples of allUKreturnees found positive in RT-PCR test will be genome sequenced by a consortium of 10 government labs i.e. INSACOG.

All the international passengers who have arrived in between December 9 and 22, if symptomatic and tested positive for COVID-19 will be subjected to genome sequencing as part of the Centre's strategyto detect the mutatedUKvariant in them.

Others will be followed up by the respective state and district surveillance officers and will be tested as per ICMR guidelines (even if asymptomatic)between 5th and 10th day, according to the Union Health Ministry's guidance document on genomic sequencing.

Epidemiological surveillance of the passengers, who have arrived in sinceNovember 23 will be conducted in the community through active follow up.

Besides, standard operating protocol for states and UTs to tackle the mutant variant of SARS-CoV-2 was issued on December 22.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Wed, January 06 2021. 13:01 IST
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