BENGALURU: Amid worries of new strains of SARS-CoV-2 circulating in the State, there is some positive news. Genome sequencing of some of the samples from the Munjushree Nursing College cluster has found only the strain that is circulating locally.Forty students at the college in Bengaluru tested positive on February 13, making it the first cluster since October last year, when cases began to decline.
Genome sequencing Dr V Ravi, nodal officer for genetic confirmation of SARS-CoV-2, said 14 samples from the cluster had been sent for genome sequencing at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurological Sciences (NIMHANS). The results of 12 came back on Monday and none of them showed South African, Brazilian or UK strains of the virus.
“The results show that the virus is similar to the one currently spreading in the city. It does not show higher levels of transmission. Though we are safer since no (new foreign) variants have been found, we can’t stay there is nothing to worry about. Covid is still a concern and all precautions should be continued,” he said.
After the outbreak at the college, the state government made it mandatory for all students coming to Bengaluru from Kerala to carry a negative Covid test report not older than 72 hours.This was followed by a cluster at SNN Raj Lake Apartment in Bommanahalli, where 109 people contracted Covid after some of them attended a gathering at the apartment. Some of these samples too have been sent to NIMHANS. “Results will be out in 3-4 days,” Dr Ravi said.
The samples of 49 Covid-positive students from a college in Ullal near Mangaluru have been sent to the National Centre for Biological Sciences for genome sequencing. NCBS could not be reached for comment.