Amid the rising scare over the more contagious strain of Coronavirus found in the United Kingdom, a 34-year-old man from Bhubaneswar, who had recently flown in from the UK, has been admitted to a hospital here after testing positive for the virus.Bhubaneswar municipal corporation commissioner Prem Chandra Choudhury said the man had returned from the UK on December 18. “The man has been kept in a Covid hospital as per central guidelines for institutional isolation. His family members too would be tested,” said the commissioner.
Officials said the sample of UK-returned man will be subjected to sequencing of the S gene or whole genome at Institute of Life Sciences in Bhubaneswar. ILS has been chosen among the 5 institutions in the country for genome sequencing.
Last week, the new SARS-CoV-2 variant was found to be the reason behind the rapid surge in Covid-19 cases in South and East England. Referred to as VUI (Variant Under Investigation) year 2020, month 12, variant 01, or the B.1.1.7 lineage, the variant is the result of multiple mutations in the spike protein of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, as well as mutations in other genomic regions of the RNA virus. Initial analysis indicates that the variant may spread more readily between people. Investigations are ongoing to determine if this variant is associated with any changes in the severity of symptoms, antibody response or vaccine efficacy.Meanwhile, the Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar has issued standard operating procedure (SoP) for all the airlines. The carriers have been asked to inform the airport authorities about the passengers returning from the UK. A help desk and a Rapid Antigen Test camp are already functioning for the passengers. As per the new guidelines, passengers having a travel history of the UK, within 14 days, need to go for a RT PCR test if not having a negative RT PCR test report after arriving India, in any other domestic airport.