A passenger walks at Fiumicino airport after the Italian government announced all flights to and from the UK will be suspended over fears of a new strain of the coronavirus, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease in Rome, Italy.
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India joined a rising checklist of nations on Monday to seal off entry to individuals who have been to the UK, suspending all flights to and from the nation between December 23 and December 31 to be able to cease the arrival of a brand new pressure of the coronavirus Sars-Cov-2 feared to unfold quicker.

All passengers who arrive from the UK on December 21 and 22 can be requested to take an RT-PCR check for Covid-19 on the airport, with solely those that check damaging be allowed to go residence, the place they might want to isolate for seven days. Anyone who checks optimistic can be taken to institutional quarantine or to a medical facility if their well being requires, the federal government introduced.

The transfer got here hours after an emergency assembly of the Union well being ministry’s joint monitoring group (JMG), which reviewed data from the UK the place authorities on Saturday launched particulars of B.1.1.7, a brand new pressure of the coronavirus with an unusually excessive variety of adjustments.

After receiving the knowledgeable group’s opinion, the civil aviation ministry introduced suspension of flights to and from UK.

“Considering the prevailing situation in UK. Government of India has decided that all flights originating from UK to India shall be temporarily suspended till 31st December 2020 (23.59 hours). This suspension to start w.e.f. 23.59 hours, 22nd December 2020,” the ministry mentioned in an announcement, which was reiterated individually by minister Hardeep Singh Puri.

“As a measure of abundant precaution, passengers arriving from UK in all transit flights (flights that have taken off or flights which are reaching India before 22nd Dec at 23.59 hrs) should be subject to mandatory RT-PCR test on arrival at the airports concerned,” it added.

“It is just a precautionary measure. This strain has not been found in India,” mentioned Union well being secretary Rajesh Bhushan.

A second prime official, too, mentioned genomic sequencing has not discovered such a variant in India.

“We have not found anything related to the UK strain so far in any of our samples. Be it in our laboratory in National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune or any other laboratories across the country doing genome sequencing, there is no evidence of this mutation in our samples,” mentioned Dr Samiran Panda, head, epidemiology and communicable ailments, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

“We have imposed a 10-day suspension on flights to and from UK after a thorough review by the government. We will reassess the suspension period as per the situation prevailing in the country,” an aviation ministry official mentioned, asking to not be named. Passengers won’t be allowed to go away the airport till the check outcomes are out, and states will make preparations for ready passengers. Those whose check outcomes are optimistic can be remoted, and people with damaging outcomes must mandatorily stay in residence isolation for every week.

Some states, comparable to Maharashtra and Kerala, individually introduced harder restrictions.

The aviation ministry official quoted above mentioned that the Centre too might announce comparable restrictions as a complete for arrivals from different European nations.

Genomic sequencing repository Nextstrain confirmed the variant present in UK was additionally circulating in Denmark, and comparable mutations – though in a special pressure – had been seen in some samples from South Africa.

India has been working worldwide flights via bilateral transport bubbles with 23 nations together with UK since calling off scheduled abroad flight operations when it introduced the lockdown in March.

India’s bubble settlement with UK coated at the very least 70 flights per week, in keeping with the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The airways flying these routes had been Air India, British Airways, Vistara and Virgin Atlantic. The new coronavirus variant has prompted the UK authorities to impose a Tier four lockdown throughout the nation and tighten restrictions for all of England particularly throughout the festive interval.

Viruses mutate typically because the organic technique of replication inside hosts they infect is just not at all times an ideal course of. The Sars-Cov-2 has additionally been mutating, however none of those adjustments have been seen as worrying as but.

Experts from the Covid-19 Genomics UK Consortium on Saturday mentioned the brand new variant is critical as a result of it now “accounts for an increasing proportion of cases in parts of England”, “has an unusually large number of genetic changes, particularly in the spike protein”, and the mutations “have potential biological effects”.

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