Punjab to send 5% of total positive samples daily to premier institutes to check new mutated strain


CHANDIGARH: Principal Secretary Medical Education and Research DK Tiwari on Wednesday said that in order to check the mutation of new mutated strain (N501Y) SARS-CoV-2 virus in Punjab, the state government has decided to send 5% positive samples per week to Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), Delhi and NCDC, Delhi- Division of Biotechnology, Epidemiology and Central Surveillance Unit.

Divulging the details, the Principal Secretary said that it was part of the master plan conceived by the state government to contain the spread of new virus in Punjab. He said that after the emergence of new mutated strain (N501Y) SARS-CoV-2 virus with high transmissibility, an advisory was issued by Government of India that the new strain could also be circulating in India too.

Tiwari said Punjab has sent random positive samples 80 from Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL) GMC Patiala, 40 each from VRDL GMC Amritsar and VRDL GGMC Faridkot to check the emergence of new mutated (N501Y) SARS-CoV-2 virus strain to NIV Pune.

The Principal Secretary said that samples were selected from September to December 2020 adding that apart from that, all the passengers who came from UK were screened for Covid-19. He said that eight patients came positive for Covid-19 at VRDL GMC Amritsar and one at VRDL GMC Patiala. Tiwari said that samples of these nine patients have been sent to NIV Pune for sequencing to check new mutated (N501Y) SARS-CoV-2 virus strain.