Genome sequencing for COVID-19 positive passengers arriving from UK: MoH
New Delhi, Dec 22: There would be separate isolation for passengers arriving in India from the UK. This would be applicable to those who test positive for the new virus variant.
In the new standard operating procedure, the government said that it would conduct genome sequencing for COVID-19 positive passengers arriving from UK since Monday to determine if they have been infected by the more transmissible new strain of novel coronavirus found in the country.
The SOP says that samples of patients who have arrived from or transited through UK between Monday and Wednesday will be sent to the National Institute of Virology at Pune or any other appropriate lab for genomic sequencing.
"If the genomic sequencing indicates the presence of new variant of SARS-CoV-2 then the patient will continue to remain in a separate isolation unit. While necessary treatment as per the existing protocol will be given, the patient shall be tested on 14th day, after having tested positive in the initial test," said the SOP.
The SOP added that if the patient is found positive on even the fourteenth day, further sample may be taken until his two consecutive samples taken 24 hours apart are tested negative.
The Union Health Ministry further said that those international travellers from UK who arrived in India from 25th November to 8th December 2020 (1st & 2nd week from 25th November) will be contacted by District Surveillance Officers and advised to self-monitor their health. If anyone amongst them develops symptoms, they will be tested by RT PCR.
The SOP applies for all International passengers who have travelled or transited through UK in the past four weeks.
The Bureau of Immigration has been asked to provide the manifest of all such passengers to India during that period to states and IDSP so that this data would be provided to the surveillance teams.
All contacts of infected travellers, defined as co-passengers seated in the same row, 3 rows in front and 3 rows behind along with identified cabin crew, who arrived at airports in India between Monday and Wednesday would be subjected to institutional quarantine in separate quarantine centres.