New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In another alarming news, the Union Health Ministry on Friday said that four more cases of new UK strain of the coronavirus have been detected in India, taking the total number of patients diagnosed with a mutated strain to 29 in the country. Out of the four new cases, three were detected in Bengaluru and one was from Hyderabad. The patients were kept in physical isolation in health facilities, the health ministry said.

Out of these 29 cases, eight people have been registered at National Centre for Disease Control in Delhi, two at CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in Delhi, 10 at National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences in Bangalore. Three such cases have been detected at Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad, five at National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences in Bangalore, and one at National Institute of Biomedical Genomics in West Bengal.

The newly identified strain of the virus found in the UK is up to 70 per cent more transmissible and more infectious than the existing strain. On Tuesday, a total of six UK returnees were found to be positive with the new variant genome. The presence of the new UK variant has already been reported by Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore.

From November 25 to December 23 midnight, about 33,000 passengers disembarked at various Indian airports from the UK. All these passengers are being tracked and subjected by states and UTs to RT-PCR tests.

Shortly after the new strain of coronavirus created headlines, India took cognizance of the reports of the virus reported from the UK and put in place a proactive and preventive strategy to detect and contain the mutant variant.

This strategy includes a temporary suspension of all flights coming from the UK with effect from the midnight of December 23 till January 7 and mandatory testing of all UK-returned air passengers through RT-PCR test. The samples of all UK returnees found positive in RT-PCR test will be genome sequenced by a consortium of 10 government labs i.e. INSACOG.

Posted By: Talib Khan