Hyderabad: On the 8th of December, Scientist monitoring the pandemic in the United Kingdom detected a new strain of SARS-CoV-2 following a high number of cases. This has sent alarming signals to the world resulting in India temporarily banning flights from UK until December 31st.
In a fresh statement, the Ministry of Health has called for an enhanced epidemiological surveillance and containment in the counytry .The ministry has dashed off a letter to the state and UTs.
"It has been reported that a distant phylogenetic cluster of SARs-Co-V-2 (named lineage B.1.1.7) has been detected a distant phylogenetic cluster of SARs-Co-V-2 (named lineage B.1.1.7) has been detected. This SARs-Co-V-s is spreading and growing rapidly in the UK. It has also been reported that this variant has an unusually large number of genetic changes particularly in the spike protein. This development calls for enhanced epidemiological surveillance and containment" the Ministry told States.
In connection with the development in the UK, all flights originating from UK into India has been suspended temporarily till 31st December effective from 22nd December, 2020. "As a measure of abundant caution, passengers arriving from UK in all the international flights should be subjected to mandatory RT PCR test on arrival at the airports concerned' ministry said. Those who are found to be positive on arrival will be sent to institutional quarantine and those negative will be advised to self-isolate themselves.
The Indian Airports handling flights from the UK on 21st December have been asked to set up help desks to facilitate passengers.Meanwhile London has been placed under one of the strictest lockdown reported in the pandemic. The transit units were packed in the last week as thousands flew out of the city fearing another months long lockdown.