The Ministry of Health on Monday said that the total number of persons infected with the new strain of Coronavirus stands at 38 in India. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) earlier had said that India has successfully cultured the new Coronavirus strain, which originated in the UK. Also Read - Ward Boy, 46, Dies Day After Taking Shot of Covishield Vaccine in UP's Moradabad

In a tweet, the ICMR claimed that no country has yet reported successful isolation and culture of the UK-variant of SARS-CoV-2. Culture is the process by which cells are grown under controlled conditions, generally outside their natural environment. Also Read - 17,072 More Health Workers Get Jabs on Day 2: Govt to Meet Pharma Majors Over Vaccine Drive Today

“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,” the ICMR said earlier. Also Read - No New UK Coronavirus Strain Reported in Past 24 Hours in India: Health Ministry

The research body said vero cell lines were used by the scientists of ICMR-NIV to culture the UK-variant of the virus.

The UK had recently announced that the newly identified strain of the virus found in their population was up to 70 per cent more infectious. A total of 29 people have tested positive for the new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 in India so far, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday.