Amidst the discovery of the new coronavirus mutant being found in several cases in the UK, on a passenger flight from the UK to Delhi, 5 passengers out of the 266 passengers and crew members tested positive for the virus. At least two people who flew in from the UK to Kolkata have also tested positive, while seven others in Punjab, coming in from the UK have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The individual State governments have been doing vigorous contact searches of everyone who has flown in from the UK or any other European country in the last ten days.
Dr. VK. Paul, a member of the Niti Aayog announced that due to the new virus strain, the tendency for the virus to enter our body has increased, and experts even speculate that its transmissibility has increased by 70%. The virus now might be a super spreader. However, he also reassured that this mutation does not affect the severity of the virus, or the contents of the emerging vaccines. He confirms that research labs have been at work to ensure that this mutation does not enter or later spread through our country, and so far this new strain of the coronavirus, found originally in the UK has not yet been found in India. “In short”, Dr. VK says, “is there a reason for panic? The answer is no. Is it a cause for us to be more vigilant? Of course, yes.”
States have issued strict quarantine rules for any passengers travelling from the UK. These passengers will be subjected to mandatory quarantine in hotels, at their own cost, for seven days. On arrival into the country, no RT-PCR test will be conducted. However, the RT-PCR test will be conducted during the fifth to the seventh day at the hotels, at the cost of the quarantined passengers. If the report of the test is found negative, the passenger would be discharged from the institutional quarantine after five to seven days with the advice of seven-day mandatory home quarantine. If the test result is found positive, but asymptomatic then he/she will be quarantined in the same hotel or in the Covid-19 hospital till 14 days.