The samples have been tested positive in various laboratories across the country. “3 in NIMHANS, Bengaluru, 2 in CCMB, Hyderabad and 1 in NIV, Pune,” the ministry said in a statement.
The people tested positive have been kept in single room isolation in designated health care facilities by State governments.
Their close contacts have also been put under quarantine, the ministry further said.
“Comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for travellers, family contacts and others. Genome sequencing on other specimens is going on,” it said.
The health ministry said that situation is under careful watch and regular advice is being provided to the States for enhanced surveillance, containment, testing and dispatch of samples to INSACOG labs.
The presence of the new UK Varianthas already been reported by Denmark, Netherlands, Australia,Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore, so far.
As an abundant measure, India has suspended all flights coming from UK from the midnight of 23rd December 2020 till 31 December 2020.
To be sure, it has also made testing mandatory of all UK returnee air passengers through RT-PCR test.
The entire issue was examined by the National Task Force NTF on Saturday and the NTF concluded that there was no need to change either the existing National Treatment Protocol or existing Testing Protocols in view of the mutant variant. NTF also recommended that in addition to the existing surveillance strategy, it is critical to conduct enhanced genomic surveillance.
According to the health ministry From 25 November to 23 December 2020 midnight, about 33,000 passengers disembarked at various Indian airports from UK. All these passengers are being tracked and subjected to RT-PCR tests.