All COVID +ve Int’l Passengers to Undergo Genome Sequencing: Govt

All international COVID positive arrivals that came in between 9 December to 22 December will be subject to it.

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Amid fears of the new variant of the coronavirus emerging from the United Kingdom, the Union Health ministry on Tuesday, 29 December, announced that all international passengers who entered the country between 9 December to 22 December and tested positive for COVID-19 will be subject to genome sequencing, ANI reported.

The ministry also said that the genome sequencing would be done for symptomatic COVID-19 passengers who travelled in the two weeks prior to the imposition of the UK travel ban.

The passengers arriving from the UK in all flights that took off or which reached India before 22 December at 11:59 PM will also undergo mandatory RT-PCR test upon arrival at their respective airports.

‘Major Population Susceptible in Cold Weather’

Dr VK Paul, a member of Niti Aayog said, in a statement to ANI, “The major population is still susceptible to COVID-19 infection in this cold weather. UK variant has travelled to several other countries & also to India, this variant may have its own run & we've to very careful. One can't be careless.”

The Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research, urged to “not put too much immune pressure on virus” and “maintain judicious use of therapies which are going to benefit. If benefit isn't established we shouldn't use those therapies otherwise it will put pressure on virus & it'll tend to mutate more.”

India had announced a temporary travel ban on flights from the UK on 21 December 2020 after the emergence of a new and highly infectious strain of the coronavirus in UK.

The ban came into effect from 22 December midnight and will last till 31 December, the government added.

India has reported six cases of the new COVID-19 strain till now. The strain has been found to be 70 percent more transmissible and was first reported in Britain. All six patients had recently arrived from the UK.

(With inputs from ANI)

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