Maharashtra: 52 Covid-19 positive samples of UK returnees sent for genomic sequencing

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Updated: Dec 31, 2020 6:15 PM

According to State Surveillance Officer Dr Pradeep Awate, 57 among 1, 917 travellers who went for RT-PCT tests were found to be Covid-19 positive

covid strain genome sequencing, covid testingThe genome sequencing will determine if the new mutant strain has entered Mumbai or not. (IE Image)

Maharashtra state health department has sent 52 samples to the National Institute of Virology for genome sequencing of the new strain of coronavirus. The state health the department has aggressively been tracking returnees from the UK, Middle East in the past one month and has announced new quarantine rules in the wake of new coronavirus threat.

A total of 4,474 travellers have been traced so far out of which 498 have already completed 28 days in India since return. According to State Surveillance Officer Dr Pradeep Awate, 57 among 1, 917 travellers who went for RT-PCT tests were found to be Covid-19 positive.

Out of 57 sample, 23 belong to residents of Mumbai, 11 from Pune, six are from Nagpur, two each from Nashik, Raigad, Aurangabad and Buldhana and one from Washim and Nanded, he further said. The genome sequencing will determine if the new mutant strain has entered Mumbai or not. People who came in contact with them will also be tracked. BMC is tracking all other the passengers who returned to the state since November 23. A night curfew has also been imposed in the metro for next 15 days as a precautionary measure.

The positive test samples from several international airports are being sent to one of the 10 Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium Labs in Kolkata, Pune, Delhi, Bengaluru and Bhubaneshwar. According to the Ministry of Health and Family welfare, about 33, 000 passengers returned to India from the UK in between November 25 and December 23 at various international airports.

Meanwhile, the number of returnees who tested positive for the new mutant SARs-Cov-2 strain stands at 25 as on December 30. Seven of them belong to Karnataka, four are from Delhi. The Tamil Nadu health minister also confirmed that a UK returnee tested positive from the strain with the new strain.

The government has extended the suspension on flights from the UK till January 7, 2020 and on scheduled International commercial flights till January 31.

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