India successfully isolates, cultures of Sars-CoV-2

RNS: First in the world, India has successfully cultured the new viral strain UK-variant of SARS-CoV-2. No country has yet reported successful isolation and culture of the UK-variant of SARS-CoV-2.

“SARS-CoV-2 the virus causing Covid-19 was tracked through countrywide network of ICMR laboratories since early days of epidemic in India,” said Indian Council of Medical Research, ICMR in a tweet on Saturday.

“UK-variant of the virus, with all signature changes, is now successfully isolated and cultured at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) from the clinical specimens collected from UK-returnees,” the country’s apex medical body wrote on Twitter.

It said that Sars-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19, was being tracked through the countrywide network of ICMR-laboratories since early days of the epidemic in India. No country has yet reported successful isolation and culture of the UK variant, according to ICMR. Vero cell lines were used by the scientists of ICMR-NIV to culture the UK-variant of the virus, it added.

Till now, India has reported 29 cases of the new coronavirus variant that is spreading rapidly around Britain and other countries, within five days of tracing its first such infection.

This new UK variant genome of Sars-CoV-2 – B.1.1.7, which is much more infectious, has prompted comprehensive contact tracing for co-travellers, family members and others of those who have travelled to the UK in the last 38 days.

From November 25 to December 23, 2020, midnight, about 33,000 passengers disembarked at various Indian airports from the UK. All these passengers are being tracked and subjected by states to RT-PCR tests to detect COVID-19, reported Hindustan Times.

Apart from India, the presence of the new strain of the mutant virus has already been reported by Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore.


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