New Delhi, January 2: India has successfully cultured the new viral strain on the horizon, i.e. the UK-variant of SARS-CoV-2. The news was shared by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Saturday. With this landmark achievement, India is the first country to report successful isolation and culture of the new coronavirus strain that was first reported in the United Kingdom.
In its release, the ICMR said that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was being tracked through country-wide network of the ICMR laboratories since the early days of epidemic in India. The ICMR said vero cell lines were used by the scientists of ICMR-NIV to culture the new strain of coronavirus. India's COVID-19 Count Reaches 1,03,05,789 With 19,079 New Cases in Past 24 Hours, Recoveries Top 99 Lakh.
Here's the tweet:
India successfully cultures the new viral strain on the horizon (UK-variant of SARS-CoV-2). #ICMRFIGHTSCOVID19 #IndiaFightsCOVID19 #CoronaUpdatesInIndia #COVID19 #Unite2FightCorona @MoHFW_INDIA @PIB_India @DrHVoffice @drharshvardhan @AshwiniKChoubey @icmr_niv pic.twitter.com/vaCMQMSHOJ
— ICMR (@ICMRDELHI) January 2, 2021
The 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 the UK returnees. The authorities in the UK had recently announced that the newly identified strain of the virus found in their population is up to 70 percent more transmissible, following which India sprung into action.
Apart from India, the new UK Variant has already been reported by Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore. According to reports, from November 25 to December 23 midnight, about 33,000 passengers had disembarked at various Indian airports from UK. All these passengers are being tracked and subjected by States and UTs to RT-PCR tests to track down the mutant coronavirus strain.