India is preparing to tackle new Covid strain! Here is how

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New Delhi | December 22, 2020 1:43 PM

Covid New Strain UK: A high-level meeting was held by the Union Health Ministry to deliberate on the new strain of Covid which has forced lockdown-like measures in the UK.

Covid new strain UKCovid New Strain UK: Bhushan reminded that Coronavirus cases in India have been declining in a sustained manner for the past two and a half months. (Reuters image)

Covid New Strain UK: India like several other countries in Europe and other parts of the world has banned flights to and from the UK due to the new strain of Coronavirus. Apart from this, the Central government has chalked out plans to get more details and crack the code of new strain. The Ministry of Civil Aviation announced the decision based on the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s recommendations.

A high-level meeting was held by the Union Health Ministry to deliberate on the new strain of Covid which has forced lockdown-like measures in the UK. Two high-level experts groups Joint Monitoring Group (JMG) and the Vaccine Task Force provided valuable inputs pertaining to the new strain that was traced in the UK. The Director-General of Health Services heads the Joint Monitoring Group (JMG) and Principal Scientific Advisor and NITI Aayog Member (Health).

In a letter to the Ministry of Civil Aviation top official, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote that a “distinct phylogenetic cluster” of the Covid-19 has been traced and named B.1.1.7. Bhushan said that variant has shown a large number of genetic changes, especially pertaining to the spike protein – a feature that he said is unusual. Bhushan said the need of the hour is to increase epidemiological surveillance, and other adopt measures including enhancing containment to tackle the development, according to an Indian Express report.

Bhushan reminded that Coronavirus cases in India have been declining in a sustained manner for the past two and a half months. He, however, cautioned that in the situation, any SARS-CoV-2 variant interjection via flyers can jeopardize India’s pandemic management. Hence, Bhushan advised RT-PCR Covid testing of flyers arriving from the UK, institutional quarantine if found Covid positive, and home isolation for seven days even if found Coronavirus negative, the IE report says.

Bhushan has also advised that governments in states and Union Territories (UTs) establish help desks at airports. He also said that at the airports arrangements for passengers awaiting RT-PCR covid-19 test results should be made, the IE report says.

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