ICMR also said that no country has yet reported successful isolation and culture of the UK variant of SARS-CoV-2.
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The variant of COVID-19 emerging from the UK has been successfully isolated and cultured at the National Institute of Virology, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said on January 2.
“UK-variant of the virus, with all signature changes, is now successfully isolated and cultured at National Insitute of Virology (NIV) from the clinically specimens collected from the UK returnees,” it said in a statement.
ICMR also said that no country has yet reported successful isolation and culture of the UK variant of SARS-CoV-2. It also said that it used Vero cell lines to culture the UK-variant of this virus.
SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus COVID-19 has been tracked by the ICMR through a network spanning across the country since the epidemic first broke out in the country, the statement said.
The new SARS-CoV-2 variant could be as much as 70 percent more transmissible, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.
Flights from the UK to India are currently suspended till January 7 to prevent the spread of the virus mutation.
So far there is no evidence to suggest that the new strain causes more severe illness.