New Delhi: Even as a Bhubaneswar man and several others in the country have tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from UK, the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry has said it’s incorrect to say that the new coronavirus strain has entered India.
To establish the presence of a mutant virus, it is necessary to establish a genome sequencing which could be done only through designated laboratories of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Department of Biotechnology, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and National Centre for Disease Control, the ministry said in a statement.
“Genome sequencing has not so far been done in respect of the 15 passengers of the 590 who landed in Mumbai from the UK on December 22. Therefore, it’s incorrect to say that the new strain of the coronavirus has entered India until it is established by a designated laboratory,” the ministry stated.
The ministry statement came after genomic experts suggested that there is a good chance that half of those who have tested positive in India after coming from the UK may be potential carriers of the new and more infectious COVID-19 strain, India Today reported.
So far, at least 20 flyers from the UK have tested COVID-19 positive in India.
The new strain which is said to have 70 per cent higher transmissible rate, has caused panic throughout the country.