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Delhi govt calls meeting to discuss threat of new Covid-19 variant

Delhi govt calls meeting to discuss threat of new Covid-19 variant

The Centre had on Thursday asked all states and UTs to conduct rigorous screening of all international travellers amid a new COVID-19 variant reported.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal

The Delhi government has called a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Monday to discuss steps that need to be taken in view of threat of a new COVID-19 variant from African countries, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Friday.

The Centre had on Thursday asked all states and union territories to conduct rigorous screening and testing of all international travellers coming from or transiting through South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana, where a new COVID-19 variant of serious public health implications has been reported.

"In view of the threat from new COVID-19 variant from African countries, we have requested experts to make a presentation to the DDMA on Monday and suggest what steps we should take. We will take all steps necessary to protect you and your family," he tweeted.

The B.1.1.529 variant has been detected in relatively small numbers in Botswana, Hong Kong and South Africa but the authorities are perturbed by its high number of mutations that could evade the body’s immune response and become more transmissible.

World Health Organization’s Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution (TAG-VE) earlier today announced that it will meet to discuss whether this variant should be classified as a variant of interest or a variant of concern.