New strain of coronavirus not seen in India so far: Government

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Dec 22, 2020, 04:46 PM(IST)

Indira Gandhi International Airport Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The Indian government had suspended all flights from the UK from December 22 after the announcement of the new strain of coronavirus

Amid reports that two passengers from the UK tested positive for coronavirus, India's top NITI Aayog official said that "the new strain or mutation of coronavirus seen in the United Kingdom has not been seen in India so far."

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"The new strain of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom has increased transmissibility, the mutation is not affecting the severity of the disease. Case fatality is not affected by this mutation," Dr VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, said.

Dr Paul asserted that there is "no cause for concern" and "no need to panic", however, he urged people to "stay vigilant".

"As of now, it has no impact on the potential of the emerging vaccines being developed in our country and are available in other countries," he said.

Meanwhile, Chetan Kohli, COO, Genestrings Diagnostic Labs said: "All 199 British Airways passengers who arrived in Delhi today morning have tested negative."

The Indian government had suspended all flights from the UK from December 22 after the announcement of the new strain of coronavirus which the British Prim Minister Boris Johnson had said was “up to 70 per cent” more transmissible than earlier strains.

The new strain – now officially named VUI-202012/01 – showed a “substantial increase in transmissibility”. 

The Maharashtra government has imposed night curfew in Mumbai fears about the new COVID-19 strain from Britain. The local government has decided that air passengers from Europe or the Middle East will have to go into quarantine after arrival and will have to be tested.

The night curfew is set to last till January 5 in Maharashtra.

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