Crescent Kashmir

Covid-positive UK returnees went to 9 states, including Punjab; genome sequencing of samples under way

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COVID positive UK returnees have moved to nine states including Punjab, the government said today, asking all these states to track these travellers as the genome sequencing of samples progresses.

The Centre also said so far no UK mutant strain has been detected in India.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan reviewed status of these travellers with the states where they went. The states are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Goa, Punjab, Gujarat and Kerala.

Six government labs have been asked to conduct genome sequences and states have been advised to follow up.

“The States/UTs have been l advised to access the details of passengers from UK to India from the online portal AIR-SUVIDHA and Bureau of Immigration.

States/UTs were also asked to send the samples of those found positive to the laboratories identified for genome sequencing,” Health Ministry said.

The six labs conducting genome sequencing to look for any signs of the UK mutant COVID strain in travellers are CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative BiologyNew Delhi; CSIR- Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad; DBT- Institute of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar; DBT-InStem-NCBS, Bangalore;DBT-National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG), Kalyani, West Bengal; ICMR- National Institute of Virology, Pune.

The number of such designated labs would increase over time and their details would be shared with the States/UTs.

If found positive with old COVID strain the passengers will be allowed to home isolate.

If positive with mutant strain they would have to go to institutional quarantine.

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