<br>Meanwhile, a batch of two more flights carrying around 500 passengers from London are scheduled to arrive at IGIA at 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, a top official from IGIA said.
"Results of all the passengers from the UK who arrived at the airport have come. Apart from 5 passengers, no further have been found to be positive with the COVID-19," Chetan Kohli, COO, Genestrings, the pathology lab authorised to test patients arriving at IGIA, informed IANS.
"Two flights, each from Virgin and Vistara, are scheduled to land at IGIA tonight by 11.30 pm," the official said.
Uptil now, 470 passengers have been tested and 5 have been found positive. The passengers arrived at IGIA in two flights which landed here at 10:30 pm on Monday and 6 am on Tuesday, the officials had informed IANS.
The officials also informed IANS that a separate lounge has been created for the passengers arriving from the UK to wait till their test reports come. "It also to ensure that these passengers do not get mixed with passengers coming from other countries as we do not know who may be carrying the new variant," the official added.
Meanwhile, Kohli informed that samples of all the positive passengers are sent to National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for genome sequencing study.
The genome sequencing study would determine if the Covid patients are carrying the existing strain of SARS-CoV-2 or the mutant strain which was discovered in the UK.
To contain the mutated variant from infiltrating the Indian population, India has temporarily banned flights from the UK. The suspension of flights from the UK will come into effect from December 22 midnight and will continue till December 31.
Further, the government has also ordered mandatory RT-PCR tests for the patients arriving from the UK.
Meanwhile, the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry has asked state governments to send the samples of the passengers who tested positive on arrival from the UK to National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune or any other appropriate lab for genome sequencing study.
If the samples indicate the presence of the new variant, the patient will continue to remain in a separate isolation unit while necessary treatment as per the existing protocol will be given, the ministry said.