New COVID Strain: Number of COVID +ve UK Passengers Rises to 23

11 people coming from UK have tested positive in Delhi, 8 in Amritsar, 2 in Kolkata and 1 each in Odisha & Chennai.

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File image used for representation.

At least 23 people who came to India from the UK in the past few days have tested positive for COVID-19 amid rising concerns of the new strain of coronavirus first detected in UK.

Quoting authorities, NDTV reported that eleven people have tested positive in Delhi, eight in Amritsar, two in Kolkata and one in Chennai so far. IANS also reported a 34-year-old passenger who tested psoitive in Odisha.

With six new passengers testing positive in the two flights that landed at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) on Tuesday, the number at IGIA itself has soared to 11.

Besides, the officials also told IANS that around 50 passengers who landed in Delhi have been sent to institutional quarantine by the government since they were seated in proximity to the positive passengers. However, these 50 passengers have tested negative at the airport.

Over 470 passengers who arrived at the IGIA in two flights on Tuesday night were tested at the airport.

The Centre has said that no cases of the new strain of coronavirus have been found in any passenger who has landed from the UK in India so far.

Six Laboratories Identified for Genome Sequencing

Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday reviewed the status of passengers coming from the UK to India and directed states and Union Territories to send samples of those found coronavirus positive to six laboratories identified for genome sequencing.

The laboratories are: the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in New Delhi, the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad, the DBT-Institute of Life Sciences in Bhubaneswar, DBT-InStem-NCBS in Bengaluru, the DBT-National Institute of Biomedical Genomics in West Bengal and the ICMR-National Institute of Virology in Pune.

The genome sequencing study would determine if the COVID-19 positive patients are carrying the existing strain of SARS-CoV-2 or the mutant strain which was discovered in the UK's population.

The list of six identified laboratories along with the contact details of their nodal officers was shared with the states in the meeting helmed by Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.

(With inputs from NDTV and IANS.)

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