Air India pilots demand management details of new ‘deadlier variant’ of Covid found in UK

By: |
December 29, 2020 7:03 PM

The letter further said that they are asking the information as frontline workers of Air India ensure the safety of their family and that the virus doesn’t get to their households.

Air India, air India pilots association, SARS-CoV-2 Virus strain in UK, Air india pilots letter to director of operations, pilots who tested positive for Covid-19, mutant coronavirus strain discovered in UKAir India. (Reuters File Image)

Air India commercial pilots on Tuesday demanded details of the “distinct Phylogenetic cluster of SARS-Cov-2” the new mutant strain of coronavirus was discovered in the UK a few weeks ago. In a letter, the pilot association asked the management of the airlines to apprise all the pilots who tested positive for the new Covid-19 ‘deadlier variant’ or might test positive in future, about their test results for the sake of their family’s safety.

According to health experts, the new strain of SARS-Cov 2 can be transmitted 70% faster than its predecessor strain and UK officials said ‘it is out of control’ imposing another lockdown. Cases of the new variant of coronavirus were confirmed in Sweden, Spain, Switzerland as well.

In their letter to Captain R. S Sandhu, Air India Director (Operations), the pilots reminded that the carrier since the beginning of the pandemic has taken lead in all its relief missions abroad, operating evacuations and repatriation flights and ferrying essential cargo to Covid-hit areas. Air India along with Alliance Air and Air India Express has operated flights even to ravaged epicentres of Covid-19, the association of pilots further mentioned. Hence the company is duty-bound to provide them with information pertaining to the current Covid-19 scenario.

The letter further said that they are asking the information as frontline workers of Air India ensure the safety of their family and that the virus doesn’t get to their households. The letter concluded with writers staying hopeful about the government taking prompt action in disseminating useful information.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in a statement said that In between November 25th and December 23rd, about 33,000 passengers returned to India from the UK at various international airports. All the passengers being tracked and will have to under mandatory RT-PCR tests. The positive test samples will be sent to 10 Indian SARS-Cov-2 Genomics Consortium labs in Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Delhi and Bhubaneshwar. So far 6 positive samples from UK returnees have been found with new UK variant genome in labs at Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune.

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