UK virus strain: London returnee’s sample to go to NIV for genomic analysis

A passenger who arrived here from London via Delhi has tested positive for coronavirus and genomes from his sample would be analysed to see if it matched with the new strain of the pathogen detected in the United Kingdom, a senior official said here on Tuesday.

The passenger, who tested positive has been admitted to the state-run King’s Institute of Preventive Medicine and Research here, Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said.

His sample would be sent for genomic analysis to National Institute of Virology, Pune for confirmation, he told reporters. “It has to be seen if it matches with that of the strain seen in the UK.”

Also, over 1,000 passengers who arrived from the UK in the past about 10 days were being monitored for symptoms.

All international passengers, on arrival, were being tested for coronavirus and they have been advised home or institutional quarantine for 14 days as per guidelines, he said.

The Greater Chennai Corporation authorities in coordination with public health department were monitoring the health status of returnees by following measures already in place, he said.

Six passengers, who travelled on Air India’s London- Delhi flight, that arrived on Monday have tested positive for COVID-19.

Five passengers were found positive at Delhi airport and another person, who boarded a connecting flight to Chennai from the national capital tested positive here.

After a new variant of the coronavirus, said to be more virulent surfaced in the United Kingdom, a majority of the country was brought under a ‘strictest’ lockdown with all non-essential businesses being shut.

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