COVID +ve UK returnees will be tested for genome sequencing: MoH
New Delhi, Dec 29: Union Health Ministry hads on Tuesday said that all the international passengers who have arrived in India during last 14 days i.e. dated from 9th Dec to 22nd Dec, 2020, if symptomatic and tested COVID-19 positive will be tested for genome sequencing amid the rising tension over the new COVID strain in the UK.
Also, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said, "Prior to the news of the UK variant came in, we had done roughly 5,000 genome sequences across labs. Now we will be significantly increasing that number and would be working in a coordinated manner."
The Airport Health Organisation and the Bureau of Immigration have been asked to provide passenger details. Additionally, the ministry has also proposed that 5 per cent of positive samples from each district/state detected daily are sent for genome sequencing, irrespective of travel history.
India on 21 December ordered to impose a temporary suspension on flights coming from UK after the emergence of a new and highly infectious strain of the coronavirus in Britain. The suspension of flights came into effect from 22 December midnight and will continue till 31 December, the government added.
Further, the ministry also added that as a measure of abundant precaution, passengers arriving from UK in all transit flights (flights that have taken off or flights which are reaching India before 22nd Dec at 23.59 hrs) should be subject to mandatory RT-PCR test on arrival at the airports concerned.
Meanwhile, India today reported six cases of a strain of Covid-19, which is 70% more transmissible and was first reported in UK.
All six patients recently returned from Britain. As per a government statement, three samples in NIMHANS of Bengaluru, two in CCMB, Hyderabad and one in NIV, Pune have been detected out of all the samples tested.