CHENNAI: Whole genome sequencing of passengers who travelled from abroad to Tamil Nadu showed that all of them had carried genes that had already been in circulation, health minister Ma Subramanian said on Monday.
“None of them had the variants that are causing a surge in countries like China and the US,” he said.
Thirteen passengers from countries like China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong tested positive for Covid-19 during the routine screening at airports. Samples of six passengers were sent for whole genome sequencing, and research showed that none of them had carried the BF7 variant.
While 2% of passengers travelling from other countries undergo RT-PCR tests, all passengers from high risk countries such as China are mandated to undergo the test.
Over the last two months, whole genome sequencing was done for more than 90 samples. Results showed that 91 samples (98%) were the omicron variant and the remaining 2% were delta variant.
“Most patients who tested positive were asymptomatic and were in isolation at their homes. There were no deaths due to the viral infection over the last two months,” he said.