Omicron Variant: Samples Of Six COVID Positive Passengers Arriving From 'At-Risk' Countries Sent For Genome SequencingKempegowda International Airport Bengaluru (Representative Image) (Wikimedia Commons)

The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday (1 December) said that the samples of six Covid-19 positive passengers who arrived from "At-Risk" countries have been sent to INSACOG, a consortium of national laboratories, for genome sequencing.

As per the new guidelines released by the government, the UK, entire Europe and countries including South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel - are “at risk”.

"On the first day of operation of the Guidelines for International Travelers issued by the Centre as public health response measures for control and management of the new reported variant of COVID-19, which has been designated as a Variant of Concern (VOC) by WHO, six passengers were reported to be COVID positive," the Health Ministry said in a release.

"Total of 11 international flights landed at various airports of the country except Lucknow, from midnight to 4 pm today, from "at risk" countries. These carried 3476 passengers," the ministry said.

All 3476 passengers were administered RT-PCR Tests, wherein only six passengers were found COVID-19 positive, it added.

Further, the ministry said that the samples of the COVID-19 positive passengers have been sent to INSACOG labs for whole genomic sequencing.

The INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium) is a consortium of 28 National Laboratories to monitor the genomic variations in the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

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