New Delhi: India has successfully cultured the new strain of coronavirus which originated in the United Kingdom said the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) through a Twitter post on Saturday.
According to IMCR, to culture the UK variant of the virus the IMCR-NIV scientists used Vero cell lines. It claimed that no country has yet reported successful isolation and culture of the U.K. variant of SARS-CoV-2.
In a tweet, IMCR said, "SARS-CoV-2 the virus causing COVID-19 was being tracked through countrywide network of ICMR-laboratories since the early days of the epidemic in India. UK-variant of the virus, with all signature changes, is now successfully isolated and cultured at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) from the clinical specimens collected from UK-returnees. No Country has yet reported successful isolation and culture of the UK variant of the virus."
IMCR wrote on Twitter, "India successfully cultures the new viral strain on the horizon (UK-variant of SARS-CoV-2)."
Culture is a laboratory process in which cells are grown under controlled conditions, generally outside their natural environment.
A few weeks back, it was confirmed that the new more contagious strain of the Covid-19 virus is behind the verge in infections in the United Kingdom. Experts have been suggesting that it is more transmissible than the other SARS-CoV-2 variants.
As a precautionary measure, India suspended all flights originating from the United Kingdom to India from December 21 last year until December 31, which later extended till January 7.
Due to the new Covid strain, the central government as well as the state governments are on high alert and they have been working on tracking, testing, and isolating patients who headed from the UK since the last week of November 2020.