The total number of cases infected with the new coronavirus disease (Covid-19) strain that was first reported in the United Kingdom, stands at 82 in the country, the Union ministry of health and family welfare has stated.
The results are based on the genome sequencing of Covid-19 positive samples released by the Indian Sars-Cov-2 Genomics Consortium (Insacog) labs.
The Central government created a network of 10 advanced labs across the country last month to step up disease surveillance in the wake of mutations detected in the Sars-Cov-2 virus that cause Covid-19.
The designated 10 INSACOG labs are – NIBMG Kolkata, ILS Bhubaneswar, NIV Pune, CCS Pune, CCMB Hyderabad, CDFD Hyderabad, InSTEM Bengaluru, NIMHANS Bengaluru, IGIB Delhi and NCDC Delhi.
Out of these laboratories conducting genome sequencing, six have found samples positive for the new UK variant.
All patients have been kept in a single room isolation at designated health care facilities of 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 currently going on.
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From November 25 to December 23, 2020, about 33,000 passengers disembarked at various Indian airports from the UK.
All these passengers are being tracked and subjected by states to RT-PCR tests to detect Covid-19.
The presence of the new UK Variant has already been reported by countries such as Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore.
Meanwhile, the country has been reporting a streak of low daily new cases of the viral disease.
According to the health ministry data, only 18,139 people were found to be Covid-19 positive on Friday in the country.
The number of new deaths due to Covid-19 has also remained under 300 for the past two weeks.
“The overall numbers are on a decline, but there are some states where a sudden surge in cases during the past few days has been reported, this highlights the need for people to strictly adhere to Covid-19 appropriate behaviour, particularly wearing a mask and maintaining a distance of at least 6-feet with others,” said a health ministry official, requesting anonymity.