COVID-19 New Strain: Indian Health Ministry Issues SOPs, Travellers Who Arrived from UK Between November 25 And December 8 to be Contacted; Check Full List of SOPs Here

Team Latestly
·3-min read

New Delhi, December 22: The Health Ministry on Tuesday issued Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for epidemiological surveillance and response in the context of new variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus detected in the United Kingdom (UK). The SOP states that those international travellers from UK who arrived in India from November 25 to December 8, 2020 (1st & 2nd week from 25th November) will be contacted by District Surveillance Officers & advised to self-monitor their health. If anyone amongst them develops symptoms, they will be tested by RT PCR. New Strain of COVID-19 Spread in Next Few Weeks 'Inevitable', Says UK's Chief Scientific Advisor During Boris Johnson's Press Briefing.

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The flights from UK stand suspended temporarily from 23rd December till 31st December 2020 or till further orders. The state govts shall ensure that passengers travelling from or transiting through airports in UK & disembarking in India would be subjected to RT-PCR test on arrival. In case of a positive sample, spike gene-based RT-PCR test should also be performed, the Health Ministry said. Check Full List of SOPs Here.

All the passengers coming from UK during the intervening period from 21st to 23rd December 2020 shall be subjected to the following process:

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  1. Respective State governments shall ensure that all passengers travelling from or transiting through airports in UK and disembarking in India would be subjected to RT-PCR test on arrival. In case of a positive sample, it is recommended that spike gene-based RT-PCR test should also be performed by an appropriate laboratory

  2. Passengers testing positive shall be isolated in an institutional isolation facility in a separate (isolation) unit coordinated by the respective State Health Authorities. They would earmark specific facilities for such isolation and treatment. Necessary action to send the samples to National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune or any other appropriate lab for genomic sequencing will be initiated at the facility level.

  3. Those who are found negative on testing with RT-PCR at the airport would be advised quarantine at home and followed up.

  4. The concerned airlines shall ensure that prior to check-in, the traveler is explained about this SOP. In-flight announcements must also be made explaining the relevant information to the passengers. Relevant information in this regard shall be prominently displayed in arrival area and waiting area of the airports

  5. Adequate arrangements for passengers waiting for their RT-PCR test results duly following effective isolation may also be made at the airports in conjunction with the airport authorities.

The COVID-19 tally in India rose to 1,00,75,116 with 19,556 new coronavirus infections and 301 deaths in the past 24 hours. The death toll touched 1,46,111, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said. The number of recoveries in the past 24 hours were 30,376. The emergence of the new and deadly mutated variant of the coronavirus has put the world once again on high alert. Reports inform that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said it is working closely with the UK medical authorities to understand how the new mutant coronavirus variant is likely to affect the course of the pandemic.