14 UK returnees to Karnataka test positive for Covid-19; samples sent for genetic sequencing

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 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 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 ten 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 of Air India and British Airways- that operate, and efforts were on to trace, monitor their health and subject them to tests.

The Minister however, said information regarding the genetic sequencing test reports as per the Prime Minister’s Office message will be sent to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) which is likely to share the information to the public in a day or two.

“…a total of 38,500 passengers have come to the country from the UK since November 22 and after gathering information about samples, positives and final report after genetic sequencing from all states, ICMR either tomorrow or the day after will share the information to the media,” he added.

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