India has successfully cultured the new coronavirus variant, which originated in the United Kingdom, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said on Saturday, 2 January.
In a tweet, the ICMR said that no country has yet reported successful isolation and culture of the UK-variant of SARS-CoV-2.
According to news agency PTI, culture is the process by which “cells are grown under controlled conditions, generally outside their natural environment.”
“UK-variant of the virus, with all signature changes, is now successfully isolated and cultured at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) from the clinical specimens collected from UK-returnees,” the top medical body said in a tweet.
Flights to UK to Resume From 8 Jan
The Ministry of Civil Aviation on Friday, 1 January, said that India and the United Kingdom will resume flight operations from 8 January, but in a staggered manner.
Amid concerns over the new coronavirus variant found in the UK, said to be much more infectious, India had earlier suspended flights to and from the country from 23 December till 7 January.
As many as 29 people, who returned from the UK to India, have tested positive for the new variant so far, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday. Eight cases have been found to be positive for the new strain at NCDC, Delhi, seven in NIMHANS, Bengaluru, two at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, and one each at National Institute of Virology, Pune, IGIB and NIBG Kalyani.