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Six labs identified for genome sequencing of samples of UK returnees

On Tuesday, the Union Health Ministry had released detailed standard operating procedures (SOPs) for states regarding travellers from the UK who arrived in India over the past month, which includes carrying out genome sequencing in case of positive samples.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | December 24, 2020 4:08:33 am
covid-19, covid-19 new strain, UK travelers in india, uk travelers in India SOP, covid-19 new strain genome sequencing, indian express newsOn Wednesday, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan reviewed the status of passengers arriving from the UK with states. (Representational)

The Centre on Wednesday identified six laboratories across the country for conducting genome sequencing of samples collected from people with a recent history of travel originating from the UK.

On Tuesday, the Union Health Ministry had released detailed standard operating procedures (SOPs) for states regarding travellers from the UK who arrived in India over the past month, which includes carrying out genome sequencing in case of positive samples.

The laboratories that will conduct genome sequencing to examine presence of the new strain of novel coronavirus found in the UK are CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi; CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad; DBT-Institute of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar; DBT-InStem-NCBS, Bengaluru; DBT-National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG), Kalyani, West Bengal; ICMR-National Institute of Virology, Pune.

“The number of such designated labs would increase over time and their details would be shared with states,” the ministry said.

On Wednesday, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan reviewed the status of passengers arriving from the UK with states.

The ministry said that during the review meeting the states raised concerns related to logistics. “The states were also advised to coordinate with the respective Airport Health Offices (APHOs) and surveillance officials in their state in order to ensure adherence to SOPs,” the health ministry said.

During the meeting, the ministry said, the states were “advised to access details of passengers from the UK to India from the online portal AIR-SUVIDHA and Bureau of Immigration”.

On Tuesday, Bhushan had said that state-wise passenger manifest of flights from the UK landing at various airports in the country from November 25 to December 23 will be conveyed by the Bureau of Immigration to state governments.

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