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All 199 passengers of British Airways, who arrived in the national capital on Tuesday morning, have tested negative for Covid-19, Chetan Kohli, COO, Genestrings Diagnostic Labs, has said.

Over 250 people out of 470 flyers from the UK, which arrived in Delhi on Air India and British Airways flights, underwent RT-PCR test at the Delhi airport, others are yet to be tested for Covid-19 in view of new coronavirus strain found in the UK.

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Earlier today, five out of 266 passengers from the UK tested positive for Covid-19 on their arrival in New Delhi. Their samples have been sent to the National Centre for Disease Control for research and they have been sent to care centres, a nodal officer for Covid-19 has said.

However, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has said the mutation - labelled B.1.1.7 - has not been detected in India as yet.

India suspends all passengers' flights to and from UK

In light of the new coronavirus strain found in the UK, said to be a super spreader with claims of it being 70% more transmissible, the Indian government has temporarily suspended all passengers' flights to and from the UK.

The last two flights scheduled to arrive in Delhi before the given deadline of 23:59 hours on December 22 are hence ordered to undergo mandatory RTPCR tests at the airport by Genestrings lab.

"Genestrings lab was the first lab in the country to set up a lab at any International Airport and has been given this mandate has been mandated by the State Surveillance Unit, Govt of NCT Delhi to test all passengers arriving from that country in next 1 day. We have made sure that all our staff members at the airport from data entry to billing, everybody is wearing PPE kits, since we want to make sure that we break any chance of transmission of the virus in the country" said Chetan Kohli, COO, Genestrings Labs.

Given the uncertainty and fear around this new strain, both GMR DIAL and Genestrings are fully equipped to brace themselves and be on the forefront to ensure that the country does not face another wave of this deadly virus.

The airport authority has not left any leaf unturned to ensure the safety of 470 plus passengers travelling on these flights. GMR DIAL has arranged a separate waiting lounge so that there is no scope of transmission is left.

All passengers and crew will be tested on arrival by Genestrings irrespective of exemptions and existing negative reports in view of this new virus strain.

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