New coronavirus strain in the UK: Govt is alert, no need to panic, says Harsh Vardhan

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New Delhi | Updated: December 21, 2020 12:59 PM

Coronavirus Covid India update: The developments have come after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that a new strain of Covid-19 has started transmitting in an unabated manner and asked people to "stay at home".

Covid Coronavirus India UK new strain newsCoronavirus Covid India update: Meanwhile, India has recorded 24,337 new COVID-19 cases, 25,709 recoveries, and 333 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to details provided by the Union Health Ministry. (Reuters image)

Coronavirus Covid India update: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has assured that the central government is alert and there is no need to panic over the discovery of the new strain of coronavirus in UK. Taking serious cognizance of the newly found Covid-19 strain in the United Kingdom, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is holding an emergency meeting today. The Joint Monitoring Group (JGM) called the meeting to deliberate on the latest alarming developments in the UK, a senior government official was quoted as saying by ANI. The World Health Organisation (WHO) representatives are likely to attend the meeting of the Union Health Ministry along with health experts from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), and representatives from AIIMS.

An official has said that there has not been any major change or mutation in the Covid-19 strain in India. However, the Central government officials concerned are monitoring and analyzing the Coronavirus strains very close in India. Apart from this, the Government of India has been keeping a tab on the latest developments pertaining to the strain of Covid-19, the official said.

What is the new strain of Coronavirus found in the UK?

The developments have come after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that a new strain of Covid-19 has started transmitting in an unabated manner and asked people to “stay at home”. Britain’s Health Minister Matt Hancock said that the government won’t ease restrictions during Christmas 2020 and tighter measures will remain in place for some time, he said. Canada, Colombia, Morocco, Iran, Bulgaria, Sweden, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, France, and Germany have announced that they were putting travel restrictions for people travelling from the UK.

The discovery of the new strain was flagged by the Covid-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) which is tasked with randomly carrying out genetic sequencing of the Coronavirus patients in the country. The COG-UK identified the new strain named VUI-202012/0 and said that changes in the region of spike protein could change its ACE2 binding capacity and change its antibody recognition. However, COG-UK also said that at this point it cannot be said that the new strain will affect the efficacy of the Coronavirus vaccines.

Coronavirus Covid-19 cases in India

Meanwhile, India has recorded 24,337 new COVID-19 cases, 25,709 recoveries, and 333 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to details provided by the Union Health Ministry. So far, India has 1,00,55,560 Coronanvirus, 96,06,111 recoveries, 3,03,639 active Covid-19 cases, and 1,45,810 deaths due to the highly contagious disease. The recovery date in India is 95.53 per cent and the mortality rate is 1.45 per cent.

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