A total of 6 samples of 6 UK returnee persons have been found to be positive with the new U.K variant genome. 3 in NIMHANS, Bengaluru, 2 in CCMB, Hyderabad and 1 in NIV, Pune.

All these persons have been kept in single room isolation in designated Health Care facilities by respective State Governments. Their close contacts have also been put under quarantine. Comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers, family contacts and others. Genome sequencing on other specimens is going on.

The situation is under careful watch and regular advice is being provided to the States for enhanced surveillance, containment, testing & dispatch of samples to INSACOG labs.

It is important to note that the presence of the new UK Variant has already been reported by Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore, so far.

The entire issue was examined at length by NTF on 26th December 2020 and the NTF concluded that there is 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.