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Wednesday, 30 December 2020

PGI sends Covid samples to check virus mutation

Naina Mishra

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 29

The PGI has sent 80 random positive Covid samples, taken between September and December, to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, for ascertaining whether any virus mutation took place in India or not.

PGI Director Prof Jagat Ram said, "We took 20 random samples each from September, October, November and December and sent these to the NIV, Pune, after receiving directions to do the same from the Government of India. The NIV will find out whether any new mutation of Covid-19 has taken place in the country or not. In the UK, the new variant of coronavirus took place in September and it is very much possible that a new strain may have been introduced here as well."

The development comes after a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus was reported by the UK to the World Health Organization. This variant is estimated by the European Centre for Disease Control to be more transmissible and affecting the younger population.

So far, all UK returnees in the city, who were sampled for Covid-19, have tested negative. As per the protocol established by the government, if any UK-returnee tests positive with the RT-PCR, then genetic sequencing will be done to see whether the results are consistent with current circulating SARS-CoV-2 or new variant.

from The Tribune

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