New Delhi, December 29 : Amid the growing concerns of new coronavirus strain, the centre on Tuesday said that a syndicate of various government labs all over the country for genome sequencing to the coronavirus. "An important development is the establishment of INSACOG, which is a consortium of 10 govt labs across the country to do genome sequencing of COVID-19 as well as any variant of that virus," said Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary. India Reports New Strain of Mutant COVID-19 Virus, 6 UK Returnees Found Positive For UK Variant Genome in Bengaluru, Hyderabad & Pune.

INSACOG comprises labs belonging to ICMR, Biotech India, CSIR and the Union Health Ministry. "Prior to the news of the UK variant came in, we had done roughly 5,000 genome sequences across labs. Now we'll be significantly increasing that number and would be working in a coordinated manner," added the Health Secretary. COVID-19 New Strain Detected in UK Returnee in Tamil Nadu, Patient Isolated on Arrival and Undergoing Treatment.

Earlier today, six passengers who recently returned from United Kingdom were tested positive for new variant of coronavirus. Three of the patients are in NIMHANS, Bengaluru, two in Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology, Hyderabad and one in National Institute of Virology, Pune.

All patients have been kept in single room isolation" in designated healthcare facilities by the state governments. Their close contacts have also been put under quarantine. Comprehensive contact tracing has been started for co-travellers, their families and others, the government said in a press release.

The new coronavirus strain first detected in the UK is believed to be 70 per cent more infectious, but doctors have said there is no reason yet to believe that it is more dangerous than the existing one. The current COVID-19 vaccines have been claimed to be effective against the new variant as well.


(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 29, 2020 05:36 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website