While the Pune-based National Institute of Virology (NIV) has found the UK variant of the coronavirus in one sample – taken from a man from Chennai — state health authorities said that so far, no sample from Maharashtra has tested positive.
A total of 43 persons in the state have tested Covid positive after returning from UK and 32 of the samples have been sent for genomic sequencing to NIV. Results are expected in a day or two, state Surveillance Officer Dr Pradeep Awate told The Indian Express.
The state Health department has traced as many as 3,900 travellers from UK who have returned to India since the new virus was detected. Of these, 366 travellers have completed 28 days from their arrival in India. A total of 2,516 were tested via RT-PCR, of which 43 were found to be Covid positive. Of these, 15 are from Mumbai, seven from Thane, six each from Nagpur and Pune, two each from Nashik, Aurangabad and Buldhana, and one each from Nanded, Raigad and Washim.
“We have also traced as many as 169 contacts of positive persons and 135 were tested.. seven of these contacts were found to be Covid positive,” said Dr Awate.
Meanwhile, a youth from Gokhale Nagar, who returned from UK on December 13, has tested positive for Covid and has been quarantined at Naidu Hospital. The sample will be used for genomic sequencing for the UK variant at NIV. The results are awaited, said PMC officials
Two samples have also tested positive for the UK variant of coronavirus at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology. According to officials, there is a need to be alert as the UK variant has now been found in India.