|Government says, 'alert to new virus strain, situation being closely monitored'|
Early Times Report
SRINAGAR, Jan 9: The Jammu & Kashmir administration today said it was on alert on the new strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but said there was no need to panic.
"The Government is alert and officials are closely keeping an eye on each development about the new strain of corona virus," one of the top officials of the Health Department said wishing not to be named. He said that they have directed that all passengers from the U.K. should be subjected to mandatory RT-PCR tests on arrival at the airport.
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has already released detailed standard operating procedures (SOPs) for states regarding travelers from the UK who arrived in India over the past month, which includes carrying out genome sequencing in case of positive samples. The official said that that the authorities are fully on this issue and surveillance for this virus has been increased ever since it was discovered in India.
Commenting on the two cases of new UK Covid-19 strain detected in Kashmir valley, he said administration has started comprehensive contact tracing of the duo. It is to mention here that the number of people who have tested positive for the new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 has climbed to 82 in India.
The Health Ministry has said that the number of such people stood at 73 till January 6 "The total number of cases infected with the new strain of the novel corona virus, first reported in the UK, now stands at 82," the ministry said. All the people who have tested positive for the new variant of the virus were kept in single-room isolation at designated healthcare facilities by the respective state governments, the ministry had earlier said.
Their close contacts have also been put under quarantine. A comprehensive contact-tracing exercise has been initiated for their co-travelers, family members and others and genome sequencing on other specimens is going on, the ministry said. The presence of the new United Kingdom variant of the virus has already been reported by several countries, including Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore.