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.
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.
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.
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.