UK Coronavirus New Strain: After six passengers arriving in New Delhi on Air India’s London-Delhi flight tested Covid positive and concerns rose across the globe over the emergence of a new Coronavirus strain in the United Kingdom, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Tuesday issued a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to be followed at the point of entry and in general with respect to all international passengers who have travelled from or transited through the United Kingdom (UK) in the past 4 weeks (between November 25 and December 23, 2020).
How dangerous is the new Covid-19 strain found in the UK? Countries including India impose flight ban; details
Britain Coronavirus Strain: Health Ministry SOPs to be followed at International Airports
1) All international travelers arriving or transiting from the UK will be required to declare their travel history of previous 14 days and fill up a self-declaration form and be screened for Covid-19.
2) State governments are to ensure that all passengers arriving or transiting from UK airports will be subjected to a Covid-19 RT-PCR test on arrival at their point of entry in India. In case of a positive, MoHFW has recommended that spike-gene-based RT-PCR test also be performed.
3) If found positive, passengers shall be isolated in an institutional isolation facility in a separate isolation unit coordinated by the state government. States have to earmark such facilities for isolation and treatment of passengers and arrange to send sample to National Institute of Virology (NIV) Pune or other appropriate laboratory for genomic sequencing.
4) Passengers who test Covid-19 negative at the airport will be advised home quarantine.
5) Airlines are to ensure that these instructions are explained to passengers prior to check-in, during the flight and also be displayed prominently at arrival and waiting areas of the airports.
6) Adequate arrangements are to be made for passengers undertaking/waiting to the take the RT-PCR test and for isolation at the airports.
Health Ministry issues Standard Operating Procedure for Epidemiological Surveillance and Response in the context of new variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus detected in United Kingdom.https://t.co/K1afqwckwy pic.twitter.com/SMsuZbRqSl
— Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) December 22, 2020
India-UK flights ban: Covid-19 test, Quarantine guidelines in Mumbai, at airports explained
The Health Ministry held an urgent meeting on Monday in light of the new Coronavirus strain that has led to a steep hike in the Covid-19 infection rate in the UK. After the meeting, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan informed that the government is fully alert and there is no need to panic.
Indian students, families caught up in UK flight suspension as mutant coronavirus spooks world
Several countries around the world, like India, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, etc. have put a ban on flights from the United Kingdom after the British government issued a warning regarding a potent new strain of the Coronavirus that was “out of control”. The British government has imposed stringent stay-at-home lockdown measures and cancelled Christmas and New Year gatherings across the isles.