New COVID Variant: All intl passengers landing in Hyderabad will be tested

The Telangana government, on 22 December, said seven passengers had travelled from the UK since 21 December. They tested negative for COVID-19 and have been instructed to quarantine themselves for seven days.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  22 Dec 2020 2:30 PM GMT
New COVID Variant: All intl passengers landing in Hyderabad will be tested

Hyderabad: The Telangana government, on 22 December, said seven passengers had travelled from the UK since 21 December. They tested negative for COVID-19 and have been instructed to quarantine themselves for seven days.

The director of public health and family welfare, Dr. G. Srinivas Rao, said the state is prepared for the new mutant virus. He also said that 358 people have arrived from the UK to Hyderabad since 15 December. "We have received the list from the Central government and we will test them for COVID-19," he added.

The government also said it is checking all international travellers coming to Hyderabad after 12 countries confirmed the new mutant virus. The Central government will share the list of all passengers who arrived in the state since 9 December. The state government will trace and test them.

Meanwhile, the director of medical education, Dr. Ramesh Reddy, said, "Everyone around the world is trying to identify how contagious the new mutant virus is. But one thing is for sure, there is no certain increase in mortality rate with this new virus."

He added, "When swine flu was detected in the country, it mutated so many times. It mutates every year that is why we take a vaccine. This is a normal phenomenon for any virus."

He also said that earlier the spread of the novel coronavirus had been contained in London but due to mutation it is spreading fast. That is the most worrying thing about it, he said. He also added that the vaccine which has been developed for the non-mutant virus will be effective against the mutant virus also. "The efficacy of the vaccine may slightly come down but it doesn't mean it will be non-effective. Only one spike of the virus has mutated. With mutation, there should be a change in the vaccine also. But the vaccine that will come now will definitely provide protection against the virus," said Dr. Reddy.

Vaccination in four phases

The state said that vaccination will start after it receives a nod from the Central government. It will be conducted in four phases. In the first phase, around 2.88 lakh public and private health workers will be vaccinated and in the second phase, frontline workers such as the police and municipal workers will be vaccinated. In the third phase, citizens above 50 years of age and citizens with comorbidities will be vaccinated. In the last phase, the general public will be given the dosage.

The government also said that it is keeping all cold storage intact and has created space to store three crore vaccines. Vaccination training for health workers has been completed at the state and district level, it added.


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