As the world discusses the new strain of coronavirus, NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul in a presser on Tuesday said it has not been seen in India and there is no need to panic, people just need to stay vigil. India has temporarily suspended all incoming flights to UK. The ban will be effective from 11:59 pm on Tuesday till December 31.
"There is no cause for concern, no need to panic, as for now. We need to stay vigilant," Dr VK Paul said. "The new strain of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom has increased transmissibility. This mutation is not affecting the severity of the disease. Case fatality is not affected by this mutation," he added.
Passengers coming from the UK should undergo RT-PCR test and isolated in a separate unit of an institutional facility if found positive, stated the Health Ministry's standard operating procedure issued on Tuesday in view of the new variant of coronavirus detected there.
India has suspended all passenger flights connecting the United Kingdom from Wednesday till December 31 or till further orders in the wake of the emergence of a mutated strain of the virus there, joining several other countries that have imposed a similar flight ban.
The SOP by the Health Ministry for epidemiological surveillance describes the activities to be undertaken at the point of entry and in the community for all flyers who have travelled from or transited through the UK from November 25 to December 23.
It stated that all travellers from the UK will be required to declare, according to existing procedure, their travel history of past 14 days and fill up the self-declaration form to be screened for COVID-19.
All passengers coming from the UK from December 21 to 23 would be subjected to the RT-PCR test on arrival and this has to be ensured by respective state governments, the SOP stated.