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New COVID-19 strain: Total 29 people in India test positive

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New Delhi, Jan 01: As many as four more persons have tested positive for the new strain of coronavirus taking the total number of new COVID19 strain cases to 29, Health Ministry has informed. All of them have been kept in isolation at designated health facilities.

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Out of the four cases, three were found in Bengaluru, while one was detected in Hyderabad. Atleast 10 cases have been detected by labs in Delhi, 10 by a Bengaluru lab, one in West Bengal, three in Hyderabad and five by the National Institute of Virology, Pune, so far.

Comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers, family contacts and others. The presence of the new UK variant has already been reported by Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore, so far.

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The ministry said that 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.

The Government of India took cognizance of the reports of virus reported from the UK and put in place a proactive and preventive strategy to detect and contain the mutant variant, it said.

This strategy includes 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.

Besides, a standard operating protocol for states and UTs to tackle the mutant variant of SARS-CoV-2 was issued on December 22.

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