Health Ministry issues SOPs over new variant of COVID-19

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International traveller from UK who arrived in India since last one month will be contacted by District Surveillance Officers and monitored in the community.
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Guwahati: The ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday has issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for Epidemiological Surveillance and Response after the emergence of the new variant of COVID-19 in United Kingdom.

The mutant variant of COVID-19, which is said to be 70% more transmissible than the previous one, has caused a scare across the world with several countries including India shutting down air travel to and from the UK.

The SOPs highlight 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 November 25 to December 23, 2020.

All the passengers travelling from or transiting through airports in the UK and disembark in India during the intervening period from December 21st to 23rd, 2020 would be subjected to RT-PCR test on arrival.

If the genomic sequencing indicates the presence of a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 then the patient will be kept in the separate isolation unit and treated as per the clinical protocol. Those who are found negative on testing with RT-PCR at the airport would be advised quarantine at home. Prior to check-in, the traveller will be explained about this SOP and In-flight announcements will be made.

International traveller from UK who arrived in India since last one month will be contacted by District Surveillance Officers and monitored in the community, an official statement from Health Ministry read.

The SOP by the health ministry includes actions to be taken at International airports, bureau of Immigration and surveillance by State Governments/Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme.

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