INDIA puts in place protocols to tackle new COVID -19 variants

AS Geneva headquartered World Health Organisation asserts the new COVID-19 virus is ‘’NOT out of Control, India’s Minister for Health & Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan Goyal urged the people not to panic about the new the variant. The GOI has issued Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for epidemiological surveillance and response in the context of the new variant of Coronavirus detected in the United Kingdom. The SOP describes the activities to be undertaken at the point of entry and in the community for all international passengers who have travelled from or transited through the UK in the past four weeks from 25th November to 23rd December this year. As per the SOP, all international travellers will be required to declare their travel history of the past 14 days and fill up the Self-Declaration Form to be screened for COVID-19.  For all the passengers coming from the UK during the period from 21st to 23rd December 2020, the concerned State governments will ensure that all passengers travelling from or transiting through airports in the 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. Passengers testing positive will be isolated in an institutional isolation facility in a separate isolation unit coordinated by the respective State Health Authorities. Those who are found negative on testing at the airport would be advised quarantine at home and their monitoring would be ensured by respective State Governments. The concerned airlines will ensure that prior to check-in, the traveller is explained about this SOP. In-flight announcements must also be made explaining the relevant information to the passengers. Relevant information in this regard will be prominently displayed in the arrival area and waiting area of the airports. Besides, 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 concerned airports authorities. Meanwhile in India has reported the country’s COVID-19 recovery rate has reached 95.65 per cent. During the last 24 hours, more than 30 thousand COVID patients have recovered. Health Ministry said, the total number of recoveries has gone up to over 96 lakh 36 thousand. The actual caseload currently comprises only 2.90 per cent of the total positive cases. Presently, the total number of active cases in the country is around two lakh 92 thousand. During the past 24 hours, 19 thousand 556 new cases were reported taking the total number of positive cases in the country to over one crore 75 thousand. The Ministry said, that effective implementation of the strategic and graded Test, Track and Treat approach has led to higher recoveries and lower fatality. Images courtesy :BBC .com

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