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16 more UK returnees test +ve for COVID-19; samples sent for genetic sequencing

16 more UK returnees test +ve for COVID-19; samples sent for genetic sequencing
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Bengaluru: Karnataka Health minister K Sudhakar on Saturday said 14 people who have come to the state from the UK so far have tested positive for COVID-19 and their samples have been sent for genetic sequencing to find whether it is a new strain of the virus that has infected them.

"A total of 2,500 people have come (from the UK), of them, 1,638 have been tested. According to the information I received last night 14 of them have tested positive. All the 14 (samples) have been sent to NIMHANS for (genetic sequencing)," he said.

Speaking to reporters here, he said, the Central government has notified 10 designated labs in the country for genetic sequencing, out of them, two are in Bengaluru-NIMHANS and National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS).

"The 14 samples are undergoing genetic sequencing. The second variant of virus in the UK is said to have undergone 17 mutations, the genetic sequencing will test in detail about mutations, which may require 48 hours, probably it (report) will come tomorrow," he said.

A total of 2,500 people have come to the state from the UK from November 25 till December 22 in two flights-Air India and British Airways — that operate, and efforts were on to trace, monitor their health and subject them to tests.

Meanwhile, one of the over 50 persons, who returned to the Kalyan Dombivli region in Maharashtra's Thane district from the UK in the last one month, has tested COVID-19 positive, the authorities said on Saturday.

As many as 55 persons have returned to the areas under Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) limits from the UK from November 25 onwards, the civic body said.

Also, a 39-year-old man, who recently returned to Indore in Madhya Pradesh from the UK, on Saturday became the second such person to be found infected with Coronavirus in the last two days, an official said.

However, it was not yet clear if the strain he is carrying is the same as the one detected in the European nation, he added.

On Friday, a 29-year-old man who returned here from Scotland via Delhi on December 18 was detected with Coronavirus.

"Samples of both these persons are being sent to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in Delhi to find out if they are infected with the same strain of Coronavirus that has been reported in Britain," Malakar informed.

Since March 24 this year, Indore had seen 53,624 people testing positive for the infection, with 857 succumbing to it.

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