THD NewsDesk, New Delhi. Amidst arising panic due to a wave of a new variant of the Covid-19 in the United Kingdom, the Health Ministry of India on Tuesday issued a new set of standard operating procedures for arriving travellers. This came in the wake of the centre announcing a temporary ban on UK flights till 31 December on Monday.
The new variant, named B117 is said to be 70 per cent more transmissible than the existing Novel Coronavirus (as per European Centre for Disease Control). Aiming to spread contamination, several other nations have also announced bans to and from the United Kingdom.
The ministry also added that UK passengers who arrived in India between 25 November and 8 December 2020 are advised to self-monitor their health and that Surveillance Officers would contact them.
According to the ministry’s SOPs, all international passengers will be required to declare their past 14 days of travel history and fill up a self-declaration form to be screened for Covid-19.
Regarding the passengers incoming from the United Kingdom, the ministry has instructed state governments to ensure that they are subjected to RT-PCR tests upon arrival. In case of a passenger being found positive, spike-based RT-PCR tests and immediate quarantine is recommended. The ministry added that the isolation should occur in separate isolation units, to be coordinated by the respective state health authorities.
Passengers found negative will be allowed to go to their homes, under the advice of home quarantine. The airlines concerned have been asked to ensure that all passengers are informed about the SOPs before check-in, and again via in-flight announcements.
Meanwhile, a WHO report has said that the new Covid-19 variant’s reproduction has increased from 1.1 to 1.5. It added that people could protect themselves by strictly following the protocol- social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands.
So far, the United Kingdom has recorded over 2 million cases, out of which, 67,616 lives have been lost.