NEW DELHI: Samples taken from about 25 travellers, who have arrived from the UK over the last few days and have tested positive for Covid, are being further analysed to assess whether they carry the mutant virus, said a government official.
“The results of spike gene RT-PCR test take about 72 hours and are expected by Friday,” said the official of the Union health ministry.
The Indian government earlier this week suspended flights from the UK until the end of the year over fears of the new strain.
A detailed SOP has been shared with the states to carry out an epidemiological exercise to detect the new mutant corona virus.
Meanwhile, at least 12 passengers returning from the UK tested positive in Goa and Maharashtra.
In a public appeal, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant urged passengers who arrived in Goa from the UK over the last six days to get themselves tested or move into self-isolation.
“I am making a public appeal. It is good for them, for the administration and Goa, if they voluntarily get tested,” Sawant said.
In Meghalaya, entry of flyers from the UK into the state has been barred.
The state government has also urged people who have recently returned from Britain or transited through the country to stay in isolation and inform it about their travel history.
Seven travellers from the UK to Telangana have tested positive for Covid-19, state health officials said on Thursday.
Their samples have been sent to the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) to find out if they had been infected with the new strain of coronavirus.
Indian authorities have said the new strain has so far not been found in India.
However, the variant has already spread globally. Apart from the UK, the variant has been detected in Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands and Australia.
A similar but separate variant has also been identified in South Africa.
The UK variant is reported to be up to 70% more transmissible than those already prevalent.
Preliminary data from the UK shows that the virus is spreading quickly in parts of southern England, displacing other variants that are circulating for months.
Source: The New Indian Express