81% samples from Punjab sent for genome sequencing show UK variant

Chandigarh: Eighty-one per cent of the 401 samples sent by the Punjab government for genome sequencing have tested positive for the UK variant of Covid-19, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Tuesday said. The samples were sent for testing at the National Centre for Disease Control.

“A total of 401 samples, collected between 1.1.2021 and 10.3.2021, were sent to NCDC for genome sequencing. The result of these samples was worrying as it showed presence of B.1.1.7 variant in 326 Covid samples,” said a government statement quoting head of the state’s Covid expert committee Dr K K Talwar.

Expressing concern, Amarinder urged the Centre to widen the vaccination net to cover those younger than 60 as the mutant strain has been found to be infecting young people more.

“The process needs to be expedited,” he said, pointing to the fact that experts had found the Covishield vaccine to be equally effective against the UK variant—B.1.1.7. It is essential to vaccinate more and more people to break the chain of transmission,” he said.

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