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UK coronavirus strain in India, tally at 82

by Raju Vernekar
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By Raju Vernekar
New Delhi,Mumbai, Jan 8:

With 11 more persons testing positive for UK coronavirus strain, a total of 82 persons have now been found to have the new mutant variant of SARS- CoV-2 virus in India, the Union Health Ministry stated on Friday.
All these persons have been kept in single room isolation in designated Health Care facilities by respective state governments. Their close contacts have also been put under quarantine. Comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers’ family contacts and others. Genome sequencing on other specimens is going on, the ministry said. The number of such people stood at 73 till 05 January 6.
The situation is under careful watch and regular advice is being provided to the states for enhanced surveillance, containment, testing and dispatch of samples to INSACOG labs. The presence of the new UK variant has already been reported by several countries including Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore.
Guidelines for travellers
Guidelines for UK returnees
In the meanwhile, as per new guidelines, all passengers arriving from the UK will have to undergo a mandatory RT-PCR test in the UK as well as in India.The Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport has announced that the RT-PCR test cost for passengers arriving from there will be Rs.3,400 per person. The passengers will be required to upload a negative RT-PCR test report via self-reporting form on the “Air Suvidha” portal before the departure.
With the resumption of flights from the UK, all passengers arriving into India from the
United Kingdom will now be subjected to mandatory self-paid RT-PCR test at the airport,
according to the advisory issued by India health ministry. These guidelines will remain force till 31 January.
Flight services between the two countries were suspended on 22 December 2020 in the wake of a more infectious coronavirus strain found in the UK. Until 23 January 2021, the government has allowed only 15 flights per week for airlines of both countries. And flights will only be operating from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports. All inbound passengers from the UK need to submit self-declaration form on the online portal (www.newdelhiairport.in) at least 72 hours prior to departure.
Passengers arriving from the UK also must carry a Negative RT-PCR Test Report, conducted
within 72 hours prior to the journey. Passengers need to upload the copy of negative RT-PCR test report on the online portal (www.newdelhiairport.in). Airlines are tasked with ensuring the availability of negative tests before allowing the passenger on board. Upon arrival in India, passengers coming from the UK in all international flights would be
be subject to compulsory self-paid RT-PCR tests at the Indian airports.
Passengers will have to declare their travel history of the past 14 days on the “Air Suvidha”
form. DGCA will also strictly monitor that the airlines do not allow any passengers to travel
from the UK to India through a transit airport of a third country, to ensure there are no omissions in monitoring of those passengers. The Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport has announced that the RT-PCR test cost for passengers arriving from there will be Rs.3,400 per person.
Passengers who test positive at the airport will be isolated in an institutional isolation facility
in an isolation unit coordinated by the State Health Authorities. They would earmark specific facilities for such isolation and treatment and take necessary action to send positive samples for genome sequencing. After genome sequencing, if the report is consistent with the current virus genome circulating in the country, the ongoing treatment protocol, including home isolation or treatment, will be followed. If the genomic sequencing indicates the presence of a new variant of SARS-CoV-2, then the patient will continue to remain in separate isolation unit.
Those who are found negative on testing with RT-PCR at the airport would be advised quarantine at home for 14 days and regularly followed up by the concerned state and district integrated disease surveillance program.


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