The Centre has issued a stringent set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) making RT-PCR tests mandatory at airports for passengers from the United Kingdom (UK), and quarantine in a separate unit of an institutional facility for positive cases, in the wake of the new mutant coronavirus strain found in Britain.
In a statement published on the health ministry's website as well as on its official Twitter handle, the ministry while issuing fresh guidelines has said that passengers who travelled from or transited through the UK in the past four weeks starting from November 25 to December 23, will be required to declare their travel history of the past 14 days as well as fill up a Self-Declaration Form to be screened for COVID-19.
#IndiaFightsCorona #Unite2FightCoronaMinistry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) December 22, 2020
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
The Health Ministry's guidelines for epidemiological surveillance describe the activities to be undertaken at the point of entry and in the community for all flyers who have travelled from or transited through the UK from the said period.
The civil aviation ministry had on Tuesday announced the suspension of all UK flights from December 23 to December 31.
"This variant is estimated by the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC) to be more transmissible and effecting the younger population. This variant is defined by a set of 17 changes or mutations. One of the most significant is an N501Y mutation in the spike protein that the virus uses to bind to the human ACE2 receptor. Changes in this part of the spike protein may result in the virus becoming more infectious and spreading more easily between people," the ministry cautioned in a document released on Tuesday, December 22.
Below mentioned are the key points of the SOPs issued by the health ministry: -
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