A total of 38 samples have been found to be positive with the new UK variant genome in India. All of them have been admitted to different hospitals across the country. 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.
Persons detected with new COVID strain are 10 in NIMHANS, Bengaluru; three in CCMB, Hyderabad; five in NIV, Pune, 11 in IGIB, Delhi, eight in NCDC, New Delhi, and one in NCBG, Kolkata.
All those admitted to hospitals have been kept in single room isolation in state healthcare facilities. 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," a government statement said. It added that 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 labs.
Meanwhile, India has successfully cultured the UK coronavirus strain, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said on Saturday. In a tweet, the ICMR claimed that no country has yet reported successful isolation and culture of the UK-variant of SARS-CoV-2.
"UK-variant of the virus, with all signature changes, is now successfully isolated and cultured at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) from the clinical specimens collected from UK-returnees," the ICMR said. The UK had recently announced that the newly identified strain of the virus found in their population was up to 70 per cent more infectious.